Mezzanine installer fined after worker falls through lift shaft void

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A firm has been fined after a worker fell through a lift shaft void onto a concrete floor while installing a mezzanine floor at a factory

A mezzanine installer based in Lincoln has been prosecuted for health and safety failings after a worker was seriously injured on site.

M & L Installers Ltd specialises in mezzanine floors and had been contracted to install one at a factory in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey.

Part of the designs for the project included an opening in the mezzanine floor. A lift was set to be installed in this gap.

The case, which was brought before Guilford Crown Court, revealed how a contractor working on the floor installation fell through the lift opening. He reportedly stepped backwards and fell some 3.5m, hitting the concrete floor below.

Serious injuries

As a result of the accident, which occurred in January 2015, the contractor sustained life threatening injuries. He was hospitalised for two months with a severe brain injury. As a result he has been unable to work since the incident.

A subsequent investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that the company was at fault for failing to ensure guards were in place over the lift shaft. The HSE investigation also said the hole could have been boarded up to prevent a fall.

M & L Installers Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations, Regulation 6(3) and were fined £20,000. Further costs of £9165.56 were also levied against the firm.

Failed to implement basic safe guards

Commenting after the hearing HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said the incident could have been avoided with some fairly basic safety measures.

“The contractors injuries were life changing and he could have easily have been killed,” she said.

This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place”

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