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Symtech learns electricity not the only killer on solar rooftops


August 6, 2014
By Anthony Capkun


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August 6, 2014 – Symtech Innovations Ltd. has been fined $90,000 after a worker died following a fall through a skylight while working on rooftop solar installation.

In February 2012, employees of Symtech were on a jobsite in North York, Ont., installing solar panels on the rooftop of an industrial building. The rooftop had a large surface area divided down the middle by a row skylight openings, with skylights in place. The skylights looked down into the building through to the main floor (about 5 m below).

A worker employed by Symtech as its acting foreperson at the project site spoke with a co-worker, then turned and began walking toward the north end of the roof. After taking a few steps, he slipped and reached out to brace the fall on a skylight. The skylight did not support the worker’s weight and the worker fell through it to the floor below. He was critically injured by the fall, dying about a week later.

Symtech Innovations Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to install protective coverings over skylights located on the roof while work was proceeding. The company was fined $90,000, with an additional 25% victim fine surcharge.