California FACE Warns of Solar Panel Installation Hazards
Two fatal falls and an electrocution have killed workers installing solar panels and been investigated by the California FACE program.
The California Department of Public Health’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program has investigated three separate incidents where workers died while installing solar panels. The program has posted four fact sheets and a worker fatality alert to warn installers about falls from roofs, falls through skylights, and electrocutions.
The more recent fact sheet concerns a worker who fell 45 feet from the roof of a three-story apartment building as he stepped back to check the position of some brackets. He and co-workers were not wearing fall protection equipment, although the plan for their job called for it, according to the fact sheet, which recommends consulting the fall protection section (pages 28-30) of the Pocket Guide for the Construction Industry.
Another fatality was a worker who was electrocuted and then fell after a 20-foot metal bracket contacted a nearby high-voltage power line. The third victim was carrying solar panels when he tripped and fell through a skylight.
CA FACE began in 1991 and is funded by NIOSH. It focuses its efforts solely on Los Angeles County.