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Two firms in court after labourer’s serious injuries

Both an energy firm and a solar installer have been fined after a worker sustained serious injuries when he fell from a roof.

What happened?

The 27-year-old labourer was subcontracted by Investment Renewables to install 56 solar panels on the barn roof, though he had no previous experience in this type of work.

He slipped when it began raining; fell onto his back and tried to grab hold of a bracket as he slid down the roof, but was unsuccessful and fell nearly seven metres onto the floor below.

He landed in some bushes and broke his collarbone, seven ribs and sustained bruising to his lung.

An investigation into the incident found that out of the three men contracted to carry out the work, only one had any experience.

Additionally, the court heard that no safety measures had been put in place to prevent or mitigate falls.

Investment Renewables had not adequately assessed the risks arising from the solar panel roof installation, and had also failed to ensure its sub-contractor, Mr King, had done so.

What was the outcome?

Investment Renewables Ltd admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £404 in costs.

Peter King from Kingson Roofing, Building and Construction admitted to breaching the same act and was fined £10,000£404 in costs.

HSE inspector, Andy Denison, said:

“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.

“Mr King had obviously not planned the job thoroughly – he had only looked
at a photo of the building and not even visited the site. Investment
Renewables 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 been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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