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Worker suffers severe head injury in barn roof fall

The barn in Edale where the worker fell through the roof

A worker suffered multiple head injuries and was left blind in one eye after he plunged nearly five metres through a fragile barn roof in Edale, a court has heard.

The 31-year-old from Wirksworth, who has asked not to be named, was helping to carry out repairs to the roof when one of the corrugated cement roof panels gave way at Lady Booth Hall Farm on Ollerbrook Lane on 9 July 2012.

The worker fell to the concrete floor of the barn when the cement panel collapsed. He was airlifted to hospital after sustaining multiple fractures to his skull, and has suffered permanent loss of sight in his right eye and hearing in his left ear.

On 19 March, the man in control of the work, Craig Allsop, and farm owner John Shirt, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident.

Buxton Magistrates' Court heard Mr Allsop had totally failed to plan the work safely. He had not used any safety equipment for the work and instead had relied on walking along the parts of the roof sheets which rested on the wooden beams, using the line of bolts as a guide.

The court was told the men should have used crawling boards on the roof to spread their weight, combined with other safety measures such as safety nets, guard rails or harnesses to prevent them being injured in a fall.

Craig Allsop, 37, of Old Hill, Ashbourne, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £800 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

John Shirt, 62, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to do more to ensure the safety of the people he had contracted to repair his barn roof. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £800.


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