Construction News

Sun May 16 2021

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£250k fine for height safety failings

5 May 17 A Bristol based solar panel installation company has been fined £250,000 after a 49-year-old worker fell more than 3.5 metres through a void in a roof.

The fall resulted in serious injuries for the man, including bleeding on the brain, a fractured spleen and fractured ribs.

Bristol magistrates heard how the worker was one of several contracted by Solarjen Ltd, known as Paul O’Brien Solar Installations (SW) Ltd at the time, to undertake roof works at Fairlawn School in Montpelier, Bristol in June 2015.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure that any physical guarding was used to prevent the worker and his colleagues from falling through voids in the roof. It also found that the company failed to supervise the work appropriately.

Solarjen Ltd of Victoria Grove, Bedminster, Bristol, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £250,000 ordered to pay costs of £12,073.14.

HSE inspector Mehtaab Hamid said after the hearing: “The company failed to properly organise the work and make sure the workers knew what safety measures were needed, as well providing appropriate supervision to ensure work was not undertaken without the measures being put in place. As a result, serious harm was caused to one worker and others were put at serious risk.”

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