Serious Fall Results in UK Company and Director Being Fined

A 28-year-old worker was fitting solar panels on a roof at the farm on May 19, 2015, when he fell more than 10 feet through a skylight and broke his back in three places.

Eco NRG Solutions Ltd and its director, Jon Luke Antoniou, both have been fined in connection with a worker's serious fall injury at a farm in Cornwall, England, the Health & Safety Executive reported. HSE investigated the case.

Lewis Harding, 28, was fitting solar panels on a roof at the farm on May 19, 2015, when he fell more than 10 feet through a skylight and broke his back in three places. HSE's investigation found the company failed to take adequate precautions to prevent workers falling from height: There was no edge protection, netting, or boarding provided on site, and the company relied on an ineffective use of harnesses, the agency reported, adding that its investigation found that the failure was attributable to the neglect of Antoniou.

Eco NRG Solutions Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £115,000 -- equivalent to $148,700 in U.S. dollars -- and ordered to pay costs of £2,879.60. Antoniou also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and has been fined £5,000 -- $6,454 -- and ordered to pay costs of £1,957.40.

"The worker is lucky to have not sustained more life-threatening injuries from what we found to be a serious breach of the law," said HSE Inspector Sue Adsett. "This case highlights the importance of directors being vigilant and acting on their obligations."

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