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Solar panel installer fined £40,000 as worker falls 4 m through fragile roof

 A company that manufactures and installs solar panels has been fined £40,000 after an employee fell 4 m through an unprotected skylight while working on a fragile roof.


As the employee stood up to move, he stepped on an unprotected skylight and fell 4 m to the workshop floor below. The employee sustained multiple and long-term injuries to his wrist.

The HSE found that SolarUK was aware of the risks from fragile surfaces and unprotected edges on the roof of the workshop building.

However, it had failed to plan or supervise the work to ensure that access to these hazardous areas was prevented.


Simple safety measures could have prevented this incident and the long-term injuries to the worker

HSE inspector Nicola Wellard 


As a result, employees were exposed to the risk of falls throughout the work to install solar panels on the roof of the workshop building.

Appearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court, SolarUK of Vantage Point, Battle, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Regulation 4(1) requires every employer to ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe.

The company was fined £40,000 and ordered pay prosecution costs of £2,000, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicola Wellard said: “The risks associated with fragile roofs are widely known throughout this industry. Failing to protect workers from this risk is inexcusable.

“Simple safety measures could have prevented this incident and the long-term injuries to the worker.”

According to its website, SolarUK has over 17 years’ experience in the supply of solar panels for water heating and electricity generation in both commercial and domestic applications.

The HSE’s enforcement database reveals that it served an immediate prohibition notice against SolarUK on 9 August 2018.

The notice said that the company had failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons were protected from falling



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