Owner of a solar panel business has been fined for safety failings after two brothers fell through fragile roof not identified as a risk
Brynley Perrett, 37, suffered a compression fracture of his back and sternum in the incident at Llan-y-nant Farm, near Trellech, Monmouthshire, in June, 2013. His brother, Anthony, was fortunate to escape injury after both had fallen 15ft.
They were installing solar panels on a building at the farm on behalf of Andrew Green, trading as Green Park Power. He was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found there was no equipment or measures in place, such as nets or scaffold edge protection, to prevent or mitigate a fall.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard that Green failed to make an adequate assessment of the risks of working on a fragile roof and did not take sufficient action to reduce those risks. He pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.
“Both brothers were fortunate not to have suffered far more serious injury in this easily avoidable incident,” stated Steve Richardson, HSE Inspector, speaking. “Had nets, or other safety measures, been installed then the fall risk would have been significantly minimised and the likelihood of injury reduced. Working on a roof can be dangerous, with falls accounting for more deaths in the construction industry than any other type of incident. The risks are well known, and guidance is freely available outlining how to work safely at height.”
Mr Richardson went on to explain that the onus was on Green to ensure the safety of those in his employment but he had failed to do so. “Those in charge of the work must be properly qualified and competent to ensure that the work is carried out safely,” he concluded.
Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk/falls
Caption Fall arrest equipment (shown) and netting would have prevented the injuries that occurred with a solar panel installation in Wales.