PV installer fined for roof fall

 A solar panel installer has been fined more than £100,000 after an employee fell from a roof he was working on.

Eco NRG Solutions Ltd and its director Jon Luke Antoniou were prosecuted after a worker fell from a farm building in Cornwall.

Taunton Magistrates Court heard how Lewis Harding, 28, had been fitting photovoltaic (PV) panels on a fragile roof at Venn Farm on the 19th May 2015. He fell more than three metres through a skylight and broke his back in three places.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to take adequate precautions to prevent workers falling from height. There was no edge protection, under-roof netting or boarding provided on site. The company relied on the use of harnesses, which proved ineffective.

Unsafe working had been taking place for months before the accident and then continued for months afterwards, the HSE said.

The investigation also found that director Jon Antoniou was culpable for the safety failure.

Eco NRG Solutions Ltd of Polden Business Centre, Bristol Road, Bridgewater pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £115,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,879.60.

Jon Luke Antoniou of Furze Close, Bridgewater pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,957.40.

Source: The Construction Index

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