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Company Prosecuted After Worker Falls Through Roof


A company that installs solar panels has been prosecuted after one of its staff was seriously injured in a fall through a fragile roof.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the actions of Andrew Green, trading as Green Park Power, after the incident during work to install solar panels on the roof of a farmhouse in Monmouthshire, when 37-year-old Brynley Perrett fell 15 ft through a fragile roof that had not been identified as posing a hazard. He suffered fractures to his back and sternum as a result.

His brother Anthony, who was working alongside him, also fell but fortunately escaped injury.

The HSE investigation found that no safety measures - such as nets or scaffold edge protection - had been put in place by Mr Green. The HSE told the hearing at Cwmbran Magistrates' Court that he had failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment, as well as putting no measures in place to mitigate the dangers of injury to two men who were working at height.

Faced with these charges, Mr Green pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The court imposed a fine of £4,500 with costs of £1,500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Richardson said it was "fortunate" that the outcome of the falls had not been much worse.

He added: "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" had been on the company owner to ensure that the work was carried out safely and that he knew what he was doing, Mr Richardson concluded.

HSE guidance on working at height states that to be compliant with the law, employers must ensure "the risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used".

It also notes that the dangers of working on - or close to - fragile surfaces have to be "properly managed".

Our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation if you have suffered an injury at work that resulted in the amputation of a limb. See our Amputation Claims page or Workplace Accident Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
Individuals who work at height are exposed to a number of risks and it is vital that employers take their responsibility for the health and safety of staff seriously. In this shocking case, a failure to ensure tasks carried out at height were done so safely, resulted in Mr Perrett suffering severe and life-changing injuries in an accident at work.

“The Health and Safety Executive investigation revealed no measures were in place to prevent workers from a fall from height. Despite employers being legally required to comply with Work and Height Regulations 2005 we have seen numerous cases where safety failings related to working at height have led to workers suffering serious injuries at work. Working at height can be dangerous which is why the regulations are in place to protect workers’ safety.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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