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A man who was injured in a work accident at a pig farm could launch a compensation claim for personal injuries.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been working for York-based Solar Fit for just two weeks when the incident happened.
Solar Fit had taken measurements to fit 100 panels at a farm near Cranswick, East Yorkshire, three days earlier when the owner of the property warned an employee that it was unsafe to stand on the pig shed roofs and that they should only try to move on the structure if crawl boards, which he offered to provide, were used.
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found this advice was not acted upon and Solar Fit's employees continued to install the panels in an unsafe manner, with one of the directors leaving the inexperienced new recruit to work on his own.
The new employee, who was therefore unsupervised, fell four metres through the pig shed's roof and suffered a serious radial fracture to his left elbow and significant bruising to both of his legs.
After the accident at work the injured man left the company and is working elsewhere after taking an extended leave of absence from Solar Fit.
HSE inspectors later found that few precautions had been taken to prevent falls through the roof and there was no edge protection on the ridge of the structure, meaning that one of the engineers could have fallen off the side of the roof.
Solar Fit was taken to court by the HSE and pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches at York Magistrates Court. It was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,585 in legal costs.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andy Denison said: "This worker was extremely fortunate not to have suffered more severe injuries in a fall of four metres. It could even have proved fatal."
"Solar Fit PV Ltd failed to assess the risks before this job started and therefore failed to plan it properly and ensure it was carried out safely. They then chose to ignore the farmer’s warnings and use the crawl boards he had left for their use."
Posted by Francesca Witney
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