Building firm prosecuted after joiner falls through ceiling

A Manchester construction firm has been ordered to pay over £10,000 after a joiner was badly injured when he fell through a ceiling.

Patrick Moran, 48 from Stretford had been working on a loft conversion in Chorlton for Quaintbrook Properties Ltd when he fell through an unsafe ceiling.

health and safety roof fall risk

The incident occurred on 21 May 2013 when Mr Moran was asked to help install partition walls without any floorboards in place.

The company had been hired to carry out the loft conversions and had wanted the partition walls to be fitted before the floorboards.

When the two joiners arrived at Chorlton they were instructed to use boards on the sites as temporary flooring but instead had to use old loft boards to create walkways as no other boards had been provided.

As Mr Moran was installing the wooden frame he slipped and his leg went through the plasterboard ceiling up to his hip.

Despite managing to pull himself out, he suffered severe internal bruising and possible nerve damage.

After pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974, Quaintbrook Properties Ltd were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,518 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing on the 29th August 2014 Laura Moran from the HSE said:

“Quaintbrook Properties was responsible for his safety but it failed to take this responsibility seriously.

“The company did not give its employees any information about health and safety, or carry out a proper assessment of the risks ahead of the work starting. As well as the missing floorboards, there was also a large opening for the new staircase without any markings or protective measures around it.

“Following the incident, the company arranged for temporary flooring to be installed across the whole area. If this had been in place at the time of the incident then the joiner’s injuries could have been avoided.”