Solar panel installer falls through roof into pool

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

A solar panel specialist has been fined £153,000 after a worker was seriously injured in a fall through a fragile roof light in Kent.

The injured man fell onto the side of the swimming pool
The injured man fell onto the side of the swimming pool

The worker, from Ashford, fractured his shin and a vertebra in the incident at a home in Hawkinge on 30 April 2013.

The roof light the 32-year-old man crashed through was on an outbuilding housing a swimming pool.

Although the water partially cushioned his fall, he made a heavy impact with the side and flooring around the pool, and was unable to return to work until January this year and only then on a part-time basis.

Glasgow-based P V Solar UK Limited was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court after an investigation by the HSE found that more could and should have been done to prevent the fall.

The court had heard in a hearing in January 2016, when the company pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences, that the injured worker was part of a three man team working on the pool building to replace faulty solar panels that were initially installed by the same company in April 2011.

The fragile roof also contained eight roof lights and he fell through one of these as he walked on the roof while carrying a panel.

HSE established that a scaffold tower, ladder and safety harness had been provided for the panel replacement work.

But none of the installation team had received any formal training or instruction on how to use them.

Other measures could also have been taken, such as providing full scaffolding or hard covers for the rooflights.

HSE established that although the initial installation work in 2011 was completed without incident, the safety equipment provided on that occasion was also lacking, which again placed workers at risk.

The court had also been told that P V Solar was served with a Prohibition Notice by HSE to stop unsafe work on a fragile roof in Bristol in May 2011.

The company was therefore well aware of the need to ensure that adequate provisions were in place to prevent or mitigate falls during work at height.

P V Solar UK Limited, of Cambuslang Road, Glasgow, was fined a total of £153,000 and ordered to pay a further £29,480 in costs after pleading guilty to three safety breaches.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: “The injured worker suffered serious injury in the fall and could have been killed.

“He and his colleagues were effectively left to their own devices with equipment that was not wholly suited for the task at hand. In short, better equipment, training and supervision should have been provided.

“Working on or near a fragile roof or materials is not a task to be undertaken without proper planning, and without having the appropriate safety measures in place at all times. There is considerable free guidance available from the HSE regarding the precautions needed when working at height, including on or near fragile roof coverings.”

Latest news

Peri buys shoring and temporary bridge specialist Mabey Hire

Scaffolding and formwork specialist expands offer
1 hour ago

Vinci/McAlpine go-ahead for £312m Midlands hospitals revamp

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust gets full business case approval
4 hours ago

Lendlease puts construction arm up for sale

After two decades of global expansion Lendlease retreats to Australia
23 hours ago

Mount Anvil seals Isle of Dogs estate rebuild

Firm will build 300 new homes at East London's Tiller Road Estate
4 hours ago

Northumbria Uni invites bids for £75m CHASE project

12-storey student block to be demolished for new Centre for Health and Social Equity
3 hours ago

Civils firm Akela appoints former Robertson director as MD

Framework expert Robert Ogg to lead growth at Scottish contractor
4 hours ago

McLaren to build new Hertfordshire primary school

Contractor to prioritise local suppliers on High Leigh Garden Village site
3 hours ago

Developer picked for Stafford town centre regeneration

ION Developments will draw up detailed plans for mixed-use Eastgate scheme
4 hours ago

Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild to lead HS2

Wild to bear down on spiralling costs and bring rejigged scheme in on time
2 days ago

Receivers in at £125m Manchester tower developer

Domis Construction walked away from scheme following doubts over funding
3 days ago

Costain A1 £260m dualling job finally gets go-ahead

Ministers sat on planning inspectors report for nearly three years
1 day ago

Election delays decision on Lower Thames Crossing

Planning decision on £1.2bn Luton airport expansion also pushed back six months
1 day ago

Caddick steps-in at former Lane End housing job

Contractor to restart phase of £262m scheme hit by administration
1 day ago

Plans in for Leeds iconic Tetley building revamp

Former brewing giant's HQ to become indoor market and offices
1 day ago

BAM wins first phase of North Devon hospital revamp

New staff accommodation to kick-off hospital redevelopment
1 day ago

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
6 days ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
5 days ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
5 days ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
5 days ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
6 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
6 days ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
6 days ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
6 days ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
6 days ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
6 days ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
6 days ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
7 days ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
7 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
1 week ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
1 week ago

Contractor services