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Solar panel installer in court after workers’ fall through roof

Date:
16 September 2014

The owner of a solar panel business has been fined for safety failings after two brothers fell 15ft through a fragile roof that had not been identified as a risk.

Brynley Perrett, 37, suffered a compression fracture of his back and sternum in the incident at at Llan-y-nant 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 Health and Safety Executive (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 yesterday (15 September) 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.

Andrew Green, of Maple Close, Abergavenny, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He 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

 

Notes to Editors

1.         The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It   does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or     revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2.         Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

3.         HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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