A NORTH Yorkshire food company has been ordered to pay out nearly £2million after two workers fell more than four metres through its roof.

One worker suffered a broken skull and internal ear and leg injuries and has ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.

The other suffered a punctured lung, four broken ribs and an injured thigh, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the pair were investigating a leak from the roof of Karro Foods on Norton Grove Industrial Estate, Malton, when they fell more than four metres through a rooflight on April 13, 2016.

The company, which has pork processing plants across the country, is a leading producer of bacon, gammon, fresh pork, frozen sausage, ham and cooked meats.

An HSE investigation found several rooflights in the asbestos cement roof could not be seen under an accumulation over years of moss and dirt.

The two workers were walking close together and both stood at the same time on a roof light, which could not handle their combined weight and collapsed under them.

The HSE also discovered that employees of the company were not aware of the rooflights.

Karro Foods Ltd of Hugden Way, Norton Grove Industrial Estate, Malton, Yorkshire pleaded guilty to a health and safety offence.

It was fined £1,866,000 and ordered to pay £8,019 prosecution costs to the Health and Safety Executive, which brought the case.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Slater said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.

“Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”