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  Solar panel installer in court after workers’ fall through roof

Solar panel installer in court after workers’ fall through roof

30 September 2014 Email this article

The owner of a solar panel business has been fined for safety failings after two brothers fell 15ft through a fragile roof.

Brynley Perrett, 37, suffered a compression fracture of his back and sternum in the incident at at a farm, near Trellech, Monmouthshire, in June, 2013. His brother Anthony, was fortunate to escape injury.

They were installing solar panels on a building at the farm on behalf of Andrew Green, trading as Green Park Power. He was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation found there was no equipment or measures in place, such as nets or scaffold edge protection, to prevent or mitigate a fall.

Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Green failed to make an adequate assessment of the risks of working on a fragile roof and did not take sufficient action to reduce those risks. He pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £4.500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

HSE Inspector Steve Richardson, speaking after the hearing, said: “Both brothers were fortunate not to have suffered far more serious injury in this easily avoidable incident. Had nets or other safety measures been installed then the fall risk would have been significantly minimised and the likelihood of injury reduced.

“Working on a roof can be dangerous, with falls accounting for more deaths in the construction industry than any other type of incident. The risks are well known, and guidance is freely available outlining how to work safely at height.

“The onus was on Mr Green to ensure the safety of those in his employment, but he failed to do so. Those in charge of the work must be properly qualified and competent to ensure that the work is carried out safely.”

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls