A recent Health & Safety Executive (HSE) press release detailed how a Cornish renewables company had been fined after one of their employees fell through a roof and suffered multiple injuries.
A senior roofer had been installing solar roof panels at a property in Launceston when the cement fibre sheeting he was walking on gave way. He fell some fifteen feet and suffered injuries including several fractured vertebrae.
The HSE investigation into the incident found that the work had not been properly planned or supervised. The contractor was fined £20,000 for breaches of the Work at Height Regulations, 2005 and in addition had to pay costs of £1,704.
This case reinforces the need for companies to always comply with the Health and Safety regulations regarding their duty of care to their workers. In this instance the employee suffered injuries that could easily have been much worse.
There is no getting away from the financial implications, either. Companies cannot be insured against such Health and Safety breaches and may find themselves receiving a number of substantial bills:
• Fines from the HSE
• Cost of the HSE investigation
• Court costs
• Compensation payments to employees for injury and subsequent loss of earnings
• Cost of repairing damage to property
In addition, other people may think twice about employing a company who lets one of its workers fall through a roof!