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    STRUCTURAL SAFETY ALERT: PV & SOLAR PANELS

    SCOSS alert highlights solar panel structural concerns

    Structural -Safety has published SCOSS ALERT November 2016 -PV installations: structural aspects.

    The alert explains their concerns about some structural aspects of roof mounted (a) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and (b) Solar Thermal panels. The organisation says that reports have been received of problems with installations including:

    • lack of guidance on structural aspects
    • excessive load on existing structure
    • number and quality of fixings
    • quality of  workmanship
    • damage to roof trusses and timbers
    • damage to waterproofing
    • wind damage to completed installations

    The alert states that there have also been concerns expressed in the technical press about:

    “the degree of compliance with Part A of the Building Regulations (England), the effectiveness of the claimed 25 year life in some cases, the durability of the fixings, the quality of workmanship, and the possibility of leaking roofs and the potential effects of PV installations on fire ignition, growth, development, and firefighting operations.”

    The Safety Alert makes a number of recommendations regarding existing and new roofs.

    Workforce safety during installation

    The SCOSS Safety Alert does not cover the risk to those engaged in the installation of such panels.

    There have been many incidents including fatalities in recent years which often involve installers falling through fragile roof surfaces.

    HSE has published guidance on safe installation of solar panels.

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