Company fined after worker falls through fragile roof

A clean energy company has been fined £20,000 with costs after a worker fell through a fragile roof.

A senior roofer working for the company was installing solar panels at a garden centre when the cement fibre sheeting gave way as he was walking on it.  The worker fell some 15ft and suffered multiple injuries including several fractured vertebrae.

The subsequent HSE investigation found that the work had not been properly planned or appropriately supervised.  As a result the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Commenting after the hearing the HSE inspector said: “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.”

The HSE estimates that 8 people a year killed by falls through fragile materials and in our recent Blog Importance of using a safe access systems on fragile roofs, we explained why site specific risk assessment, method statements and fragile roof fall prevention products are essential whenever fragile roof access is required.

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