A woman narrowly escaped a bizarre injury at work when two cows fell through a workshop roof.
The cows are thought to have broken through a field boundary fence while searching for food. They crashed through the skylight of a workshop in Lamorna, Cornwall, leaving 77-year-old Sue Marshall in shock.
Mrs Marshall, who was cleaning an adjoining kitchen, described hearing a “terrific crash”, which she assumed was a tree falling down. She found the first cow struggling around on some wool next to a loom, as well as a smashed table and skylight.
Once she had herded the cow out of her workshop, Mrs Marshall miraculously escaped another personal injury as a second cow fell through the roof, smashing a bench she usually sits on to do weaving tasks. She then spotted the rest of the herd looking at her.
Personal injury fear
“I was worried the rest of the cows could come through too,” said Mrs Marshall, who was helped by a neighbour to prevent any more cows getting through the fence.
Most of Mrs Marshall’s artwork escaped damage as it had been sold at an open day, but the work accident did cause some psychological distress.
“Goodness knows what would have happened if I had been sitting at the bench,” she said. “I dealt with it quite calmly at the time, but afterwards got quite depressed because of what could have happened.”
Failures to keep employees safe, and the distress that can result, often constitute legitimate personal injury claims and can lead to compensation. Further details can be obtained by calling Accident Advice Helpline (AAH).
Livestock owners are also potentially liable for accidents caused by straying animals, through statute and common law, and should ensure fences are kept in reasonable order
The fencing outside Mrs Marshall’s home was repaired by the farmer who owned the cows the day after the accident.
Alan Goddard of insurers Cornish Mutual said: “This very unusual case really does highlight the importance of keeping boundary fences in good condition.
“Fortunately, no one was physically harmed and neither of the cows suffered any injuries.”
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Date Published: November 23, 2013
Author: David Brown