A NEW dad died after he fell through the roof of a barn while working for his brother installing solar panels, an inquest heard.

Stephen Webb, aged 43, died on December 9, 2015 after he fell 6.7 metres through the roof of a barn onto a concrete floor at a farm in Orleton in North Herefordshire.

The jury inquest took place this week at Herefordshire Coroner's Court, two and a half years after the death of Stephen, who lived in Eastham near Tenbury Wells.

His wife Nicola told the inquest he had become a new dad in May 2015 and had just sold his Tenbury taxi business, as they were looking to run their own pub.

His brother Michael Webb offered Stephen flexible work for his business Sun RG which installed solar panels on both commercial and domestic buildings.

Richard Dermietzel told the inquest he worked for Sun RG as a subcontractor and had worked with Stephen installing solar panels on around 10 to 15 farm buildings.

The job on December 9, 2015 was at the Bengree family's farm and they were instructed to install solar panels on an open agricultural barn.

Before Richard and Stephen arrived on site, they had been to Michael's house for a "toolbox talk" where Michael explained the job and what safety measures they should use to protect themselves.

Richard said Michael told them to wear safety harnesses, to stay off the roof lights and the ridge of the roof, which is one of the most fragile areas, and to stay away from the edges.

When Richard and Stephen arrived on site, Richard said they went up onto the roof using a scaffolding tower and covered the roof lights with safety rails.

He said Stephen was then rigging the drill leads together so they could drill in an anchor to attach the safety harnesses to.

Richard called Michael on the phone asking him to come to the site to bring the safety harness which Stephen preferred to wear and to talk to him about the drawings.

Michael arrived 20 minutes later and went up onto the roof - both Richard and Michael were facing away from Stephen when Richard said: "I heard a roof sheet break and looked around and that was it."

Stephen had fallen through the roof ridge panel onto the concrete floor below. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard the roof had been installed in the summer of 2015 and the roof sheets were made of fibre cement. The roofing contractor Ian Bucknell had used safety netting to install the roof.

The jury returned an accidental conclusion. He died from blunt chest trauma.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation continues.