A solar company has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for safety failings after an installer fell from a roof in Hampshire.

Dorset-based solar installer, Gendex Ltd, was installing 68 solar panels on the flat roof of the New Milton and District Community Centre when an employee fell more than three metres.

The installer stepped through a rooflight where he fell onto a raised platform in the centre which broke his fall – allowing him to escape uninjured. The HSE investigation found that although a scissor lift with safety harnesses was provided, the harnesses could only be used on the lift with no attachment points on the roof. In addition, HSE found that no protection was provided for either the edge of the roof or the two rooflights.

The company pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations and has been fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £2,477 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Wycherley said: “Work at height is inherently fraught with risk, and falls remain the single biggest cause of deaths and serious injury in the construction industry.

“Thankfully the worker avoided injury on this occasion, but he was extremely fortunate to do so. The fall was entirely preventable and Gendex Ltd has no excuse for failing to do more than they did to mitigate the risks he and others faced.

“Roof work must be properly planned and appropriate safety equipment provided.”