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Company fined and director sentenced after worker falls from height

Date:
20 November 2017

The Managing Director of a solar panel company has received a suspended prison sentence and the company has been fined.

Gloucester Crown Court heard how a worker suffered serious injuries after falling through a fragile rooflight at a farm in Kemble. The worker suffered fractures to the skull and pelvis because of this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 August 2015 found that Switch Capital EMEA Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of those working on the roof, they did not install safety netting which would have prevented the fall.

It was found Mr Timothy Dobson, who was Managing Director of Switch Capital EMEA Ltd at the time of the accident made the decision not to use safety netting.

Switch Capital EMEA Ltd of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £54,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.00.

Mr Timothy Dobson of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours community service and pay costs of £12,000.00.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Chilcott said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used.

“In this case work was conducted on a fragile roof without safety nets being used. Had this simple precaution been in place, the serious injuries sustained could have been prevented.”

Further information about working on fragile roofs can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.pdf

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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