Company fined after worker falls through roof

A Cornish clean energy company has been fined after a worker fell through a fragile roof.

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard how a senior roofer working for Clean Earth Energy Limited was installing solar panels at Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston. While traversing the roof, the cement fibre sheeting he was walking on gave way and he fell approximately fifteen feet. He suffered multiple injuries including several fractured vertebrae.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 15 August 2015 found the work was not properly planned or appropriately supervised.

Clean Earth Energy Limited, of Bess Park Road, Trenant Industrial Estate, Wadebridge, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at height Regulations 2005, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,704.

HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said after the hearing: “Working on fragile surfaces is a particularly high risk activity in which many serious accidents occur. Duty holders should do everything possible to protect their workers from the risk of a fall.”

Phoenix comment: “Many accidents occur every year from working on fragile surfaces. Proper risk assessments need to be conducted and appropriate controls put in place to prevent the risk of falling”.