A court has heard how a solar panel installation company failed to put in place measures to prevent falls from height.
Lockerbie-based RJW Electrical Services (Lochmaben) Limited did not install any protection around the roof or roof lights while installing solar panels on the roof of a barn at a property in Newton Stewart.
As a result, one of its employees plummeted 3.6 metres through one of the lights to the floor below.
Stranraer Sheriff Court heard how the company’s failings put those on site at risk of serious injury.
The employee, who was placing solar panels on the roof on 25 April 2014, stepped back on to a roof-light and fell through it.
RJW Electrical Services (Lochmaben) Limited of Vendace Place, Lochmaben, Lockerbie, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It also admitted breaching Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was consequently fined a total of £10,000.
Working at height
Working at height is one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the UK. The dangers of doing so are well documented, yet unfortunately thousands of accidents continue to happen each year.
Some of the most common cases include falls from ladders, through roofs and from scaffolding.
Work at height is work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury – for example, just like in this case, when the worker fell through a roof light.
The Work at Height Regulation act was introduced in 2005 to protect anyone working at a height. It covers everything from a bridge painter working hundreds of feet off the ground to an employee in an office standing on a chair to change a light bulb.
Employers have a responsibility to take practical measures to reduce the risk of any of their workers falling while working at height.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 4, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown