Solar panel firm fined £250k after worker suffers serious injuries in roof fall

Bristol-based Solarjen Limited has been fined £250,000 after a 49-year-old worker sustained serious injuries when he fell more than 3.5 metres through a void in a roof.

The worker, who was one of several contracted by the solar panel installation specialist, known as Paul O’Brien Solar Installations (SW) Limited at the time, suffered injuries to his head as well as fractures to his ribs and spleen while undertaking roof works at Fairlawn School, Montpelier, Bristol in June 2015.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to ensure physical guarding was in place to prevent the worker and his colleagues from falling through voids in the roof. The inquiry also found the company failed to appropriately supervise the work.

Solarjen Limited of Victoria Grove, Bedminster, Bristol, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Bristol Magistrates Court and has been fined £250,000 ordered to pay costs of £12,073.14.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Mehtaab Hamid said: “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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