A FARM business has been fined after a labourer was left with brain and spinal injuries when he fell while putting up a farm building.

Eden Veg Limited, of King Cup Farm, Willets Lane, Denham, Buckinghamshire, had commissioned a new grain store from a Portuguese supplier.

Due to the pandemic, the supplier had been unable to travel to the UK to put up the building - so the farm business decided to use its employees to build the barn themselves.

One of the employees, 34-year-old Florin Morariu, fell from height while helping to install profiled metal cladding to the roof of the steel-framed farm building.

Florin sustained severely life-changing brain and spinal injuries in the incident on April 12, 2021.

Eden Veg Limited pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £13,400, with full costs of £8,303.08 and a victim surcharge of £195 on June 16, 2022 at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Goozee said that the incident had been an accident waiting to happen.

The starting point for determining the level of the fine had been £160,000 – this was reduced to £13,400 after the company’s turnover, mitigating circumstances and early guilty plea were taken into consideration.

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Health and Safety Executive inspector Paul Hoskins said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident which caused significant life changing injuries.

“Eden Veg Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks involved in working at height, and as a result, safe working methods were not identified.

"The company completely failed to take any measures to prevent their farm workers falling from height, such as installing edge protection and/or nets. Adequate training in work at height had not been given.”

Farms must ensure that safe systems of work and adequate training are in place to prevent falls from height when erecting or maintaining farm buildings.