NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 12:58
The Dutch Labor Inspectorate believes that more attention should be paid to safety when installing solar panels. In the period from January 2021 to March 2022, the inspection counted more than forty accidents and in the past three years there were four fatal accidents.
According to the inspection, installers take insufficient measures to work safely. For example, panels are often raised via a ladder. Work is also done without scaffolding or roof edge protection, which limit the risk of falling.
The inspectorate issues fines for this. The amount of fines varies per case and depends on the size and history of the company. It easily amounts to several thousand euros.
Dozens of notifications
Every year, the Labor Inspectorate receives dozens of reports from employees, local residents and trade unions that work is unsafe in the sector of the installation of solar panels. In the period January 2021-March 2022, there were 150 reports. Unsafe work situations were indeed found in 63 percent of those reports.
In 80 percent of the accidents, a technician fell from or through a roof. In more than half of those cases, a mechanic suffered one or more fractures. 20 percent sustained head injuries as a result of an accident, and in 10 percent of the cases this was permanent injury.
Company shut down
A company in South Holland systematically violated the Working Conditions Act. That is why the company was not allowed to carry out any work for a month in December last year. The Inspectorate does not rule out the possibility that more companies will have to shut down their activities for a month in the near future.
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