Clean Energy firm fined after worker falls through roof

A clean energy firm based in Cornwall has been fined £20,000 for breaching health and safety rules after a worker fell through a fragile roof and fractured numerous vertebrae.

The senior roofer was working for Clean Earth Energy Ltd at the time of the incident in 2015. The worker was installing solar panels at Homeleigh Garden Centre, Launceston, when the cement fibre sheeting beneath him gave way. The roofer fell around 15 feet and suffered several injuries, the most serious of which included fracturing several vertebrae.

If your business is involved in dangerous or hazardous working environments, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. As well as good health and safety policies, your business should also consider employers’ liability insurance in addition to the required general business insurance.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that inadequate planning and supervision were responsible for the accident.

Clean Earth Energy, based in Wadebridge, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was subsequently fined £20,000 and told to pay court costs of £1,704.

Nicole Buchanan, an HSE inspector involved in the case, 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.”