Solar installation firm fined over worker plunge from roof

Solar news.
A SolarCity Corp. employee carries a solar panel on the roof during installation at a home in Kendall Park, New Jersey, U.S., on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

A Yorkshire solar firm has been heavily fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker fell from a roof while completing an installation.

Duncan Plumbing Heating and Electrics Ltd of Tockwith, North Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The biomass heating and solar installation firm was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay £2,424.60 in additional costs.

The worker fell while installing a biomass heating system after climbing on top of a roof and falling through a “fragile cement sheet”.

He fell a distance of around two meters after climbing on the roof when the ladder he was using proved unusable for the job.

The HSE investigation concluded that the job had not been planned correctly and the investigation also found the company failed to “provide suitable work at height equipment such as a mobile elevated work platform, edge protection, crawl boards, a roof ladder or scaffolding”.

After the hearing, HSE inspector James Harvey said: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year.

“This case highlights the importance of following well-known industry guidance to plan and assess the work at height requirements needed to complete the work safely.”