Dairy Farm Fined After Labourer Suffers Serious Injuries In Fall From Height

Lawyers Say Lessons Must Be Learned After Man Scarred For Life


By Suzanne Rutter

The case of a labourer, who was seriously injured in a fall from height through the roof of a cow shed, highlights the devastating impact workplace injuries can have on people’s lives, a workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has suggested.

Steven Reid, of Cumnock, was cleaning leaves from the roof of the outbuilding at Lochhill Farm, near Mauchline, when he fell 11 foot through one of the fragile skylight panels.

The 24-year-old, who had been employed by the farming partnership Messre James E Taylor since September 2010, suffered fractures to his right knee and left ankle as well as damage to his teeth and cuts to his head.

As a result of the injuries, he had to have a wire surgically inserted into his knee and both legs were in plaster from his toe to his thigh. He was in hospital for six weeks and has been left scarred for life. He may also need further surgery in the future, as he still doesn’t have full use of his knee. He also continues to take medication to ease the pain he suffers but has now returned to work at another dairy farm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that no safety measures had been taken to prevent Mr Reid falling through the roof, such as giving him any safety equipment or advice about how to carry out the work safely.

Meesrs James E Taylor, of Lochhill Farm, was fined £10,000 after admitting to a breach Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Elaine Russell, an expert workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said: “Falls from height, like the one Mr Reid suffered, often leave people with physical and emotional scars which can have a lifetime impact and that is why lessons must be learnt by other employers about the importance of health and safety in the workplace.

“According to the HSE, Mr Reid had no proper training or instructions before being asked to remove leaves from the cow shed roof, which led to his fall, nor was he given any safety equipment or protection.

"More must be done to protect workers from injury and the safety of employees needs to be the number one priority for businesses.”