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Farmer admits health and safety breach after worker killed in barn electrocution

A farmer has admitted a health and safety breach after a worker was killed when he was electrocuted on the roof of a barn.


Ryan   Wood

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Ryan   Wood
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Father-of-three Bryan Welch, 46, was on top of the structure at Smethcott, near Church Stretton, when tragedy struck in November 2013.

 

Cables carrying 11,000 volts of electricity ran close to the roof.

 

John Downes, of Red House Farm, Smethcott, admitted to one count of failing to avoid the risks to health and safety arising from the construction of the barn under power lines and working at height between May and November 2013.

 

Mr Timothy Green, prosecuting, told the hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court it was not in the public interest to pursue similar charges against Downes’ son Timothy Downes, of The Farm, Longnor, and he offered no evidence in the younger man’s case.

 

Mr Welch, a steel erector, and his relative Simon Bloor were contracted to work on the premises by JR & MC Downes & Son, which owns the barn.

 

Hearing

 

The hearing was told that Bloor, 53, of Little Harlescott Lane, Shrewsbury, had pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to comply with health and safety regulations at a previous hearing.

 

The inquest, held in March 2015, found that the construction worker died after being electrocuted, and was not simply the victim of a heart attack.

 

He was found lying unconscious on the roof by Bloor while the pair were working at Red House Farm on November 4, 2013.

 

Tragedy

 

Attempts to revive 46-year-old, of Cwm Head, Marshbrook, near Church Stretton, both at the scene and at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead 90 minutes later.

 

A jury unanimously agreed the medical cause of death was electrocution and that it was a case of accidental death.

 

At the time of his death Mr Welch’s family described him as a “wonderful dad and amazing husband.”

 

John Downes and Bloor will be sentenced in September and the case was adjourned until then. Downes was granted unconditional bail.

 

Credit: Shropshire Star


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