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Joiner left paralysed after house builder failed to provide fall protection

A construction firm has been fined £26,000 after a subcontracted joiner who fell through joists on a house build was left paralysed from the chest down.

Joiner left paralysed after house builder failed to provide fall protection
Image credit: HSE

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court was told on 25 August that the 60-year-old joiner was working on the first floor of a building in Grimsby, Lincolnshire when the incident occurred in December 2016. He was installing joists and flooring for Mager Homes and had stepped back after laying a floorboard when he missed his footing and fell through a gap between the joists to the ground floor.

The joiner sustained broken vertebrae and was left paralysed from the chest down. He now uses a wheelchair and cannot return to his former trade.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Mager Homes had failed to provide workers with basic safeguards, including an adequate working platform. There was also no edge protection nor fall prevention equipment to minimise the risk of falls on-site.

Mager Homes pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The house builder was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay £795 in costs.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner


  • The article relating to a

    Permalink Submitted by Penny Lawrence on 20 October 2017 - 09:47 am

    The article relating to a joiner falling through joists whilst working for Mager homes and being left paralysed raises some serious issues in regards to:
    - The fine not being proportionate to the injury caused
    -How the whole house building/ refurbishment industry deals with the installing of joists and flooring safely.
    Surely between those that carry out the work and safety professionals we could come up with a good safety practice note to go up on the HSE website and work at height forums???

    If any one wants to contact me I would be happy to take this further. penny.lawrence@fishpjl.co.uk


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