At Londonderry Crown Court today, Limavady farmer John Thompson was fined £2,500 for a health and safety breach that resulted in a fatal accident on his farm in March of this year.
Today’s sentencing comes after a Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) investigation into the accident where an employee fell approximately three metres while assisting Mr Thompson replace roof sheeting on a farm building. As a result of his fall on 26 March 2015, the 56 year old worker died from his injuries the following day.
Commenting on the health and safety failures that led to this tragic accident, Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team said: “This accident was completely preventable and underlines why farmers must not ignore the potential dangers associated with working at heights. Farmers must never take shortcuts and should ensure that proper controls, such as scaffolding, should always be in place to prevent workers being injured. They should also consider using a professional roofing contractor when required.
“Falls from height are one of the four main causes of accidents resulting in serious injuries and death on Northern Ireland’s farms. The dangers associated with working at height have been well publicised through the Farm Safety Partnership’s ongoing multi-media campaign - Stop and Think SAFE.”
Please visit the HSENI website for more information about working at height, and other farming health and safety issues: www.hseni.gov.uk.