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Quarter of a million pound penalty for roof void fall

A solar panel installation company has been fined £250,000 after a worker suffered bleeding on the brain when he plunged through a roof void at a primary school in Bristol.

 The 49-year-old also sustained a fractured spleen and ribs in the 3.5 m fall.
Bristol Magistrates’ Court was told that the victim had been contracted by Solarjen - formerly Paul O’Brien Solar Installations (SW) - to carry out work at Fairlawn School in Montpelier.
However, the firm had not erected guardrails to prevent its employees falling through voids in the roof. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also said it had failed to appropriately supervise the task.
Solarjen pleaded guilty to breaching reg 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for failing to ensure the work at height was properly planned, supervised and carried out. It has been ordered to pay costs of £12,073.


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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