Two brothers fell through a fragile roof while installing solar panels at a farm in Wales, magistrates have been told.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday how 37-year-old Brynley Perrett sustained fractures to his back and sternum in the fall at Llan-y-nant Farm in Trellech, Monmouthshire in June last year.
His brother was not badly hurt, the court was told.
They were working for Green Park Power, which is run by Andrew Green, to place panels on the roof of a farm building.
Lack of precautions
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Mr Green had not installed any safety precautions, such as edge protection to prevent falls or nets to protect workers in the event of a fall.
The HSE also said Mr Green had not properly assessed the risks of working on the roof, nor done enough to reduce them.
Mr Green, who lives on Maple Close in Abergavenny, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Magistrates fined him £4,500 and ordered him to pay a further £1,500 to cover the cost of the prosecution.
The incident could easily have been prevented if Mr Green had installed certain safety measures like nets, HSE inspector Steve Richardson said after the case had concluded.
‘Lucky to escape more serious injuries’
He said the brothers were lucky that they didn’t suffer more serious injuries, as falls are the most common reason for major injuries and fatalities in construction.
According to HSE figures around two thirds of deaths in the industry involve falls from ladders, scaffolding, working platforms, roof edges, fragile roofs or rooflights.
Like all employers in the construction industry Mr Green should have made sure his workers were safe.
If you have been injured in a fall or any other type of accident at work, contact Accident Advice Helpline to see whether you could make a personal injury claim.
Date Published: September 18, 2014
Author: David Brown