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1. Fall Protection - General Requirements

Anaheim Solar Panel Company Faces Fines After Worker Falls

June 18, 2019
None of the company's workers were wearing fall protection.

Nexus Solar Energy Systems willfully exposed its workers to fall hazards, according to an investigaton by state-run agency Cal/OSHA.

Inspectors were called to the Anaheim, Calif. solar panel company's jobsite after an employee was seriously injured after a fall from a residential roof.

“Falls from roofs are often deadly, and that is why employers must protect their employees from fall hazards and provide effective training,” said Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief of Enforcement Debra Lee. “This employer was aware of these dangers and ignored its responsibility to address them.”

On Dec. 6, 2018, three installers were working to install solar panels at the Oakland residence when one of the workers lost his footing and fell 15 ft.onto the concrete driveway, suffering a broken wrist and jaw. None of the workers were wearing fall protection.

Cal/OSHA cited Nexus Energy Systems for five violations, three of which were related to the December accident, including:

  • A willful serious accident-related violation as the employer failed to provide fall protection.
  • Two serious violations for the employer’s failure to provide training and ensure compliance with fall protection measures.
  • Two general violations for the employer’s failure to implement an effective heat illness protection plan and an injury and illness prevention program that identifies and corrects hazards specific to the worksite.

The agency also cited the employer for two additional violations stemming from an incident that investigators learned had taken place the previous September, when a worker suffered electrical burns while connecting solar panels to an energized breaker box.

Cal/OSHA noted one serious continuing violation for failing to provide insulated gloves or tools while working on energized equipment, and a general violation for the employer’s failure to investigate the industrial accident and take measures to correct safety hazards.

About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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