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FIRM FINED AFTER OVERLOADED FLOOR FAILS

Floor overloaded with concrete blocks triggers multi-floor collapse 

W J Edge & Sons Builders Ltd has been fined after a workman fell 5m and was struck by a wooden board and concrete blocks after a partially-built floor collapsed on a new house build in January 2012.

Leicester Magistrates heard (29 Nov) that construction of the second floor of a new build house was underway when the floor failed caused by overloading with concrete blocks.

The joists collapsed onto first floor joists which also failed. These lower joists helped to break his fall but he still fell to the ground floor. He was unable to return to work for six weeks.

Build sequence must be managed to secure structural safety

W J Edge & Sons Builders Ltd, of Hinckley, was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said:

“This could have been a far more serious incident had the lower joists not helped to break the worker’s fall to the concrete below. He was also fortunate that a wooden board that landed on top of him provided a degree of protection from the falling concrete blocks.

Had the company properly planned the work and prevented the incomplete floor from being accessed and overloaded, then the incident could have been avoided. It’s essential that a build sequence is closely managed and that floor sections are properly constructed prior to working on them.”

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