South Scotland

Firm fined over worker's barn roof fall on Stranraer farm

Stranraer Sheriff Court Image copyright Google
Image caption McKeown Groundworks was fined £12,000 at Stranraer Sheriff Court

A Stranraer-based groundwork company has been fined after a worker fell more than 20ft (7m) through a fragile roof.

The 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by McKeown Groundworks Ltd to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley's Farm, Stranraer in May 2016.

The man suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of the incident.

At Stranraer Sheriff Court, the company admitted breaching work at height regulations and was fined £12,000.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the firm had failed to adequately supervise the work at height and relied on the experience of workers to avoid injury.

'Serious injury'

It was also found that McKeown, whose registered office is in Castle Douglas, failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said: "McKeown's failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.

"Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.

"Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects."

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