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30th November 2011

Agency farm worker injured following a fall from height

Farm worker seriously injured

A Shropshire poultry farm has been prosecuted following a workplace accident which left an agency worker with serious injuries.

The 36-year-old agency worker was employed on a temporary basis at Llynclys Farm, which has a site in the grounds of Stoke Heath Farm in Market Drayton, when the incident occurred in July 2009.

The agency worker was walking on a temporary platform made from stacks of poultry cages, a common practice in the agricultural sector. The worker tripped and fell three metres from the unprotected platform edge fracturing his pelvis in two places and suffering a collapsed lung.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the accident and found that Llynclys Farm had identified the unprotected platform as a risk, but had failed to make amendments to reduce the risk of falls.

Falling from height remains the most common cause of workplace deaths

The farm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,276 in costs.

HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Falling from height remains the most common cause of workplace deaths and those who survive are often seriously injured, as in this avoidable incident.

"Llynclys Farm had identified the potential for workers to fall from the platform but failed to act on its own risk assessment. This dangerous system of work had been in place for around five years before the incident.”

Janet Finney, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors said: “When falls from heights are so well known a risk it is unbelievable how many cases we see where employers fail to adequately deal with the possibility. Worse here the risk was identified and still ignored.”

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