• Robert Spicer

Kent private swimming pool roof fall: solar panel company fined

Roof fall: £153,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v PV Solar UK Ltd (2016) Canterbury Crown Court, March 21

PV Solar UK Ltd, a solar panel company, has been fined following an incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries in a fall through a fragile roof light.

Significant points of the case

  • In April 2013 a worker employed by the company was working on the roof of an outbuilding containing a swimming pool in Kent. He was replacing faulty solar panels.

The roof contained eight roof lights. He fell through one of these. He suffered a fractured shin and vertebra.

  • A scaffold tower, ladder and safety harness had been provided for the panel replacement work. None of the workers had received formal training or instruction on how to use them, which rendered the equipment useless.

  • Other measures could have been taken, including providing full scaffolding or hard covers for the rooflights.

  • The initial installation work in 2011 was completed without incident. However, the safety equipment provided on that occasion was also lacking. This placed worker at risk.

  • The company was served with a prohibition notice to stop unsafe work in Bristol in May 2011. It was therefore well aware of the need to ensure that adequate provisions were in place to prevent or mitigate falls during work at height.

The company was fined £153,000 plus £29,000 costs for three breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005

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