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Firm fined after joists give way on Leicestershire site

Building firm W J Edge & Sons Builders has been fined after a worker fell 5 m before being struck by a wooden board and concrete blocks.

The man fractured his elbow and nose after a partially-built floor gave way in Brook Street, Shepshed, on 26 January 2012.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that he was helping to construct the second floor of a new build house for Hinckley-based W J Edge & Sons when the joists collapsed onto first floor joists, that then also gave way.

The lower joists helped to break his fall, but he still fell to the ground with the materials. He was unable to return to work for six weeks.

W J Edge & Sons Builders, of Henson Way, Sharnford, Hinckley, were 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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