This month, we are taking a look at recent news. 
An article published by hsmsearch.com shows that “a solar panel company has been fined after a worker fell through a skylight during the installation of solar panels on a farm workshop in East Sussex.” 
On July 23rd 2018 Brighton Magistrates Court heard how an employee of SolarUK Limited fell approximately four meters through a unprotected skylight, sustaining multiple long term injuries to his wrist; whilst carrying out insulation work in Ninfield. The court heard as he stood to move he stepped onto the unprotected rooflight. An investigation by the HSE found that, although the company were aware of the risks from fragile surfaces and unprotected edges, they failed to plan or properly supervise the work, failing to ensure that access to hazardous areas were prevented; thus showing that all the workers were at risk of falls throughout the job. 
 
SolarUK Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Working at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £40,000 and ordered to pay an additional £2,170 to cover costs and a victim surcharge. 
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicola Wellard said, “The risks associated with fragile roofs are widely known throughout this industry. Failing to protect workers from this risk is inexcusable. Simple safety measures could have prevented this incident and the long-term injuries to the worker.” 
 
On average, nine people die every year falling through a fragile roof or roof light. Many others are seriously injured. 
These accidents usually happen on roofs of factories, warehouses and farm buildings while repairing, maintaining plant, installing equipment, cleaning gutters and skylights, surveying the roof or inspecting roof work. 
Here are a few tips published by the HSE to keep you and your workforce safe: 
• Always assume that the roof is fragile unless you are certain it is not. 
• Don’t go on to a fragile roof yourself, or expect others to do so, without the right equipment to prevent falls and the skills and experience to use it correctly. 
• Don’t go onto a roof for work like gutter clearing, inspecting or surveying. These can often be done from ground level or using a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), or 
a tower scaffold. Short duration work can often be done using a secured ladder or one with a ‘stand-off’ device. 
• Never walk along the line of fixing bolts above supports, or along the ridge. Would you walk a tightrope? 
• Make sure whoever you ask to do work on a fragile roof (whether a company or an individual) is experienced and aware of the risks. 
 
Auxil can also help you with this; we offer various training courses, as a CITB approved training organisation we can offer, Behavioural Safety in Construction Introduction, Working At Height Awareness in Construction and Personal Fall Protection for Users. We can also offer various other Health and Safety training courses, learn more by clicking the link below: https://www.auxil.co.uk/health-safety/h-s-training-courses/ 
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