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Construction company in court after joiner falls through ceiling

A construction firm in Manchester has been prosecuted after a joiner sustained injuries after falling through a ceiling.

What happened?

Licensed joiner, Patrick Moran, was hired to help install partition walls in two loft conversions at neighbouring properties in Chorlton.

An investigation into the incident found that Mr Moran and one of his colleagues were asked to carry out the work without any floorboards in place, as the firm wanted the partition walls to be fitted before the floorboards were laid.

The two joiners were instructed to use boards as temporary flooring, but the only material available was three pieces of wet plywood, which were unsafe to use.

Instead they had to use old loft boards as makeshift walkways, and keep moving them to reach different areas of the loft.

48-year-old Mr Moran was installing the wooden frame of a partition wall, when his leg slipped through the floor joists and through the plasterboard ceiling up to his hip.

He sustained severe internal bruising, and continues to get pins and needles to his left hand, caused by possible nerve damage.

What was the outcome?

Quaintbrook Properties Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,518 in prosecution costs.

HSE Inspector, Laura Moran, said:

“The joiner was badly injured in the incident but it could easily
have been much worse if he had fallen all the way into the
room below. 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.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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