Roof fall puts another worker in hospital

It is depressingly common to hear about falls from a height for employees working on roofs. Another firm has been successfully prosecuted by the HSE for failing to doing proper risk assessments of their site and also for failing to ensure their subcontractors also conduct comprehensive risk assessments.

The investigation came about after one their inexperienced employees fell nearly seven metres from a roof. The Green energy company and solar installer were installing 56 solar panels on a barn roof when the accident occurred. The sub contracted workers were using a four-lift tower scaffold to gain access to the sheet metal pitched roof. The three labourers, only one of which had any experience, had installed 13 of the panels when the weather turned and it started to rain. The 27 year old slipped on the wet surface and slid over the edge.

Although he tried to grab onto a bracket to prevent his fall he failed to get a good drip and went over the side feet first. The HSE discovered there were no safety measures in place to prevent falls and had not provided any edge protection to be installed to guard against roof falls.

The worker was lucky as he could have died falling from such a height but instead he fell into bushes and broke 7 ribs, his collarbone and sustained a bruised lung. He was able to eventually return to work.

The green energy company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £404 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The sub-contractor was also fined £10,000, also with £404 to pay in costs, for a breach of the same Act.

An HSE inspector said after the hearing:

“This worker’s fall and his subsequent painful injuries could easily have been prevented had basic safety precautions been put in place. Each party failed in its responsibilities to protect the workers from danger by assessing risks and providing a safe system of work.

“…. had obviously not planned the job thoroughly – he had only looked at a photo of the building and not even visited the site. …..also failed to make sure the work was safely planned and did not supervise it.

“Despite clear guidance from HSE and the solar panel industry, companies continue to work on roofs without suitable precautions, posing an entirely unacceptable risk of serious injury, or even death, to employees.”

If you have suffered an accident at work or have experienced adverse side effects from your job then contact Claimant Law now to see if you are entitled to workplace compensation. We deal with anything from brain injury to spinal injuries, burns, dermatitis, whiplash, lacerations or even work related stress/anxiety so whatever it is that happened to you, it is worth checking with us if you have a case.

If you are interested in claiming compensation for an accident or injury sustained at work call now on 0800 089 4444 for a free no-obligation conversation with our specialist team.