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Worker broke back after fall

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An electrician broke his back after falling head first through a skylight while installing solar panels in Daventry, a court heard this week.

Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Morris fell six metres through a barn while working as a contractor for a firm installing solar panels at Ashby Farm in Norton Grounds near Daventry, in November 2011, fracturing his lower spine in “multiple places”.

Northampton Crown Court heard on Thursday last week that Alternative Energy Installations ignored health and safety regulations after being sub-contracted to install solar panels on a barn.

The firm, which has since been liquidated, was found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of employees working at the farm. The court heard how the installations team was asked to work without a safety net and without harnesses, despite the fact the roof was “fragile”. Skylights in the roof were left uncovered, the court heard, and when the firm’s director was asked if workers could have harnesses, he responded: “What the **** do you need those for?”

Workers had not been shown health and safety documents, it was said.

Mr Morris, from Woolston, near Warrington, Lancashire, has been unable to work since the accident, suffering pain, depression, body dysmorphia and post traumatic shock disorder. Alternative Energy Installations, registered with Hodgsons Accountants in Cheshire, will be sentenced later this month alongside the company’s technical director, Ian Black, of Denbigh, Wales. Black had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge.

 

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