Cal/OSHA Cites Solar Panel Installer After Fall

The fall occurred on June 13 and "there was no evidence of fall protection at the site, despite the hazards presented by more than 140 skylights in the roof of the building, a rooftop access hatch, and the unguarded edges of the roof," according to the agency.

Cal/OSHA announced it has cited Elite Electric Inc., a company installing solar panels, for serious and willful safety violations after an employee working in Fontana fell 29 feet through a skylight, according to the agency's news release. Cal/OSHA has proposed $130,125 in penalties in the case.

The fall occurred on June 13 and "there was no evidence of fall protection at the site, despite the hazards presented by more than 140 skylights in the roof of the building, a rooftop access hatch, and the unguarded edges of the roof," it states. "The employee who fell did not receive any personal protective equipment from his employer."

"Falling is the leading cause of death in the construction industry. It is critical for employers to prevent workers -- especially those working from great heights -- from being injured or killed from falls," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. "This employer was aware of their responsibility and completely failed to fulfill it."

The willful-serious violation assessed against Elite Electric alleges that it failed to protect employees approaching within 6 feet of any skylight during installation of solar panels from falling through them. Employers are required to use guardrails, personal fall protection systems, covers, screens, or nets to prevent such falls, according to the agency.

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