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Lack of safety netting results in a fall, a fine and suspended sentence

The managing director of a solar panel company has received a suspended prison sentence and the company has been fined, following an incident where a worker was seriously injured falling from height.

Gloucester Crown Court was told that the worker fell through a fragile roof light at a farm in Kemble. The worker suffered fractures to the skull and pelvis.

The Heath and Safety Executive found that Switch Capital EMEA Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of those working on the roof; they did not install safety netting which would have prevented the fall.

It was also found Timothy Dobson, who was managing director of Switch Capital EMEA Ltd at the time of the accident, made the decision not to use safety netting.

Switch Capital EMEA Ltd of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £54,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.00.

Mr Timothy Dobson of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours community service and pay costs of £12,000.00.