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Building company prosecuted after teenager’s fall

A 17-year-old employee of More Than Lofts Ltd fell through a hole in a loft, and landed on a staircase.

What happened?

The teenager was working as part of a team to covert a loft at a house in Hammersmith when he stepped on some fragile material that was covering a hole in the floor.

He fell four metres onto a staircase below, but luckily survived the accident with no significant injuries.

An investigation into the incident found that there had been multiple uncovered or badly-covered fragile surfaces on the site, and the firm had failed to take satisfactory measures to prevent employee falls.

Additionally, the investigation also found that the firm had also been given a Prohibition Notice in 2010 because of immediate dangers to workers, due to unsatisfactory safety measures on site.

What was the outcome?

More Than Lofts Ltd admitted to breaching the Work at Height Regulations, and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £729 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Gavin Pugh, said:

“This young man had an extremely lucky escape from what could have
been a fatal or severe injury in a fall of that distance. He
and his co-workers were put in unnecessary danger by
the careless approach to safety demonstrated
by More Than Lofts Ltd.

“The company had ample materials on site to cover over fragile
surfaces during work on this loft conversion but failed to
do so. It also clearly disregarded the lessons that
should have been learned from the previous
enforcement notice about working
at height.

“Companies that skirt around safety put lives at risk. The hazards
presented by working on or close to fragile surfaces are
widely known in the industry and there are numerous
deaths and injuries to workers as a result
of safety failures every year.”

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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