Managing Risk When Installing Solar Panels

Climate change has become the most pressing issue of our time, as new data and information surrounding
global warming paint a dire picture on a global scale. Public opinion has shifted dramatically, with many
seeking ways to active contribute to the fight for a greener planet.

Concern over the climate has given rise to a ‘green industry’ within industries – particularly construction,
where new household energy efficiency measures and technologies require construction industry expertise to
be realised. New insulation and heating technologies are common examples here, but perhaps the most
widespread and profitable of these are roof-mounted solar panels.

The Popularity of Solar Panels

Solar panels are an accessible and easily understood energy efficiency measure, making them easier for
consumer households to approach as a medium-to-long term solution in terms of energy efficiency and fossil
fuel reliance. Their results are also much more tangible, and in many cases much more profound, where solar
panel usage can completely eliminate household reliance on the National Grid.

This is reflected in their surging popularity, with industry figures indicating that over 50,000 households plumped for solar array installation in the first quarter of 2023 alone. The steep rise in adoption is attributed
more to the rising cost of energy than the green cause, but nonetheless represents a key industry shift – and a
major opportunity for trade businesses.

Solar Array Installation and Risk

But adopting solar array installation as a new customer offering can also introduce key risks for building
companies and contractors. Working at height increases the risk of falling for all workers assigned to such
projects and increases the risk of falling tools or equipment damaging either property, passers-by or even

Recognising these risks in advance enables advance planning for protection from such risks. One key route for
business owners is to ensure that their builders insurance plan covers employee injuries or property damage.
This can relieve the financial consequences of injuries or incidents on site, if more direct interventions do not
succeed in preventing them.

Managing Risk On-Site

There are numerous measures a team can undertake to ensure safety while installing solar panel arrays.
Harnesses and rigs are a must for mitigating the risk of falling; scaffolding is the safest way to ensure access to
the roof, and edge protection is vital to minimising the risk of falling objects – while tool lanyards can tether
equipment to workers or the roof to similarly prevent falling objects from injuring others. Lifting the panels up
to the roof should be done with the correct machinery, and never attempted alone.

There are also electrical concerns to consider, with working solar panels producing direct current that in turnposes an electrical fire risk, if not installed or insulated correctly. Training should be undertaken as a priority to
understand and act against this.