Firm fined after worker suffered spinal injuries

The victim, a man aged 25, was installing solar panels at a Farm in Hertfordshire when the accident happened.

He was carrying out checks on the roof when he fell through a roof light in December 2011 resulting in a fractured spine, broken pelvis and cuts.

He was unable to walk unaided for 4 months, or to work for 6 months. The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and two firms were prosecuted. The court heard that the first, a solar panel installation company, had put scaffolding and safety netting under the work area but removed the netting on when the roofing work was completed.

They were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,437 costs after pleading guilty to failling to plan, manage and monitor the installation of solar panels on a fragile roof.

The second company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,219 costs after admitting breaching Regulation 9(2)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE inspector Tony Mitchell said the victim  “has suffered severe injuries but is fortunate to have escaped with his life.

“Falls from height are still the biggest killer in the construction industry and this case demonstrates the reality of what can happen when adequate arrangements are not in place to manage the significant risks of working at height.”

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