Northern Ireland farmer dies in roof fall

A farmer in Northern Ireland has died after falling through an asbestos roof on an outbuilding.

Lee Gilliland from Dromore, County Down, is reported to have been working on the roof at a farm near Donaghcloney on Saturday 10 September.

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First reports have suggested he fell through the fragile roof and sustained serious injuries. The Northern Ireland air ambulance was called, but despite the specialist paramedics’ efforts, Mr Gilliland died later on Saturday in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Local newspaper Armagh I reported that Mr Gilliland was well known in the area.

Tributes paid included one from Democratic Unionist Party councillor Mark Baxter, who said the community had been left stunned.

“He was a quiet, unassuming man – everyone liked him,” Mr Baxter said.

“He came from a well-respected family in the area, and the news will reverberate around the rural community here.

“This is an awful tragedy and my thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Mr Gilliland had a partner and two children.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officials have been informed and an investigation into the incident has begun.

Wales ATV death

Meanwhile, information has emerged of a fatal farm accident that took place in late August. The HSE has issued an initial report on the incident in Wales involving an ATV.

The report stated that a worker was killed when the side-by-side ATV he was driving overturned at a farm in Gwent on 25 August.

Officials at the HSE stressed the dangers of using side-by-side ATVs, which often feature in accident statistics, and urged farmers to take great when using them.

“Although they are designed to cope with a wide variety of terrain, [these vehicles] can very rapidly become unstable and overturn,” a spokesman said.     

The HSE issued key safety advice for operators and passengers of this type of vehicle. 

Side-by-side ATV advice

To use a side-by-side ATV safely, it is essential that:

  • The machine is fitted with an undamaged roll-over protective structure
  • The driver and any passenger wear a lap belt
  • The driver is properly trained
  • The vehicle is well-maintained and routinely checked (especially tyre pressures, brakes and throttle)
  • Loads carried do not exceed the recommended weight and are secured against movement
  • Routes are planned and checked for hazards, especially before riding on rough terrain.