A SOLAR company has been hit with a £30,000 fine after an employee from Woolston broke his back after falling through the roof light of a barn while working for the firm.

The 20-year-old has been unable to work and has suffered constant pain and depression since the incident in Daventry, Northamptonshire on November 28, 2011.

Northampton Crown Court heard that he fell while installing solar panels for Altrincham-based Alternative Energy Installations Limited, which has since gone into liquidation.

The company, registered with Hodgsons Accountants of Park Road, Timperley, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £27,000 in costs on April 22 after being found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The firm’s technical director Ian Black, of Denbigh, Wales, was fined £7,300 and ordered to pay £6,700 in costs after pleading guilty to the same charge at an earlier magistrates’ court appearance.

Speaking after the verdict, HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said: “This fall could have been fatal and was entirely and easily preventable.

“As it is, the incident has dramatically affected a young man, starting out in life, and he has not worked again since.”