A young Yorkshire farmer was carrying out routine maintenance on a length of guttering on the family farm when he fell 18ft through a roof light onto the concrete floor below him.
Peter Rooke, 20, broke the femur in his left leg. He was airlifted to hospital where surgeons pinned the leg with a steel rod but he was unable to return to work for eight weeks.
His father Mark was working with him on the roof. “It is a job I have done for the past 30 years and whenever I was working on the roof there was a farm worker below so I was not alone,” he said.
“The gutter cleaning is an annual job which we have to do to ensure that there is no water leakage when grain is stored in the building below.
“It was a fine day but heavy rain was threatened so there was some pressure to get the job done before the weather changed. I told Peter about the dangers before we went up there together and to be very careful.
“We had only been working up there for about ten minutes when the incident occurred. Peter had stepped backwards from the safety boards onto the roof light which gave way and crashed straight through to the floor below. He cannot explain how or why he had stepped backwards and it must have been a lapse in concentration.”
Since the incident Mark has had a safety harness and a back rail fitted to the roof so that anyone working at height there is securely held.