Solar company fined after garden centre accident

A Cornish clean energy company has been fined after a worker fell through a fragile garden centre roof while installing solar panels.

Bodmin Magistrates' Court heard how a senior roofer working for Clean Earth Energy was installing the panels at Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston. As he crossed the roof, the cement fibre sheeting he was walking on gave way and he fell approximately 15 feet. He suffered multiple injuries including several fractured vertebrae.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 15 August 2015 found the work was not properly planned or appropriately supervised.

Clean Earth Energy, of Bess Park Road, Trenant Industrial Estate, Wadebridge, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at height Regulations 2005, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,704.

HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said after the hearing: "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."

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