Worcester Park loft conversion firm fined £6,000 after employee falls through hole in ceiling

More Than Lofts in Central Road, Worcester Park

More Than Lofts in Central Road, Worcester Park

First published in News Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The owner of a Worcester Park loft conversion business has promised action after the company was fined £6,000 over safety failings.

Stacy Owens, of More Than Lofts, said he has spent more than £70,000 on health and safety improvements since the accident last June, when a 17-year-old labourer fell 4m from a hole in a loft.

The teen escaped with cuts and bruises.

Mr Owens said despite "strict guidance" given to foremen, "You can't be over them 24 hours a day."

He added: "We try and do good work, and it's very difficult.

"The materials were there on site so it wasn't like we were trying to cut costs - we're not cutthroat.

"We've got to review all of our health and safety. We've made massive changes since last year."

The family firm, which employs about 40 full-time staff, was fined by magistrates at Westminster Magistrates' Court this week after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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.

"The company had ample materials on site to cover over fragile surfaces during work on this loft conversion but failed to do so."

More Than Lofts admitted breaching work at height regulations and was also ordered to pay costs of £729.

Mr Owens said the employee, from Morden, was still working for his company.

Comments (3)

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11:21pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Fuller3 says...

We have had a loft extension developed by more than lofts and we were so happy with the work that we had had a LOT of extra work done by them. Their attention to detail was fantastic and when there was a small snagging issue (and there would normally be a lot more on large projects like ours) they bent over backwards to resolve the problem. Why did the 17 year old labourer not think to look down when climbing up into an underdeveloped loft!! As usual, health and safety gone mad, keeping people like Gavin Pugh in a job.
We have had a loft extension developed by more than lofts and we were so happy with the work that we had had a LOT of extra work done by them. Their attention to detail was fantastic and when there was a small snagging issue (and there would normally be a lot more on large projects like ours) they bent over backwards to resolve the problem. Why did the 17 year old labourer not think to look down when climbing up into an underdeveloped loft!! As usual, health and safety gone mad, keeping people like Gavin Pugh in a job. Fuller3
  • Score: 4

7:52pm Fri 5 Sep 14

foxtrotoscar@1eyeinthesky says...

Fuller3 wrote:
We have had a loft extension developed by more than lofts and we were so happy with the work that we had had a LOT of extra work done by them. Their attention to detail was fantastic and when there was a small snagging issue (and there would normally be a lot more on large projects like ours) they bent over backwards to resolve the problem. Why did the 17 year old labourer not think to look down when climbing up into an underdeveloped loft!! As usual, health and safety gone mad, keeping people like Gavin Pugh in a job.
Developed or under-devloped loft spaces make no odds. The fact that it was unsafe to work in is the issue here (not everyone has a gun-ho attitude with regards to H&S). The labourer is not a Health and Safety expert and should have been informed accordingly. It's idiot owners like this that give the building trade a bad name.
[quote][p][bold]Fuller3[/bold] wrote: We have had a loft extension developed by more than lofts and we were so happy with the work that we had had a LOT of extra work done by them. Their attention to detail was fantastic and when there was a small snagging issue (and there would normally be a lot more on large projects like ours) they bent over backwards to resolve the problem. Why did the 17 year old labourer not think to look down when climbing up into an underdeveloped loft!! As usual, health and safety gone mad, keeping people like Gavin Pugh in a job.[/p][/quote]Developed or under-devloped loft spaces make no odds. The fact that it was unsafe to work in is the issue here (not everyone has a gun-ho attitude with regards to H&S). The labourer is not a Health and Safety expert and should have been informed accordingly. It's idiot owners like this that give the building trade a bad name. foxtrotoscar@1eyeinthesky
  • Score: -1

1:14pm Sat 6 Sep 14

cfc241974 says...

The only thing this company done wrong was to trust a 17year old to use their common sense,listen to what their being told,and dont stand where your not supposed to.people need to be responsible for their self,most accidents on site are the persons own fault....if we all went running to the courts every time we have a trip or a fall,there would be a twenty year waiting list to get the case heard,you want to give youngsters a chance but their more trouble than good,and they dont even make a decent brew.
The only thing this company done wrong was to trust a 17year old to use their common sense,listen to what their being told,and dont stand where your not supposed to.people need to be responsible for their self,most accidents on site are the persons own fault....if we all went running to the courts every time we have a trip or a fall,there would be a twenty year waiting list to get the case heard,you want to give youngsters a chance but their more trouble than good,and they dont even make a decent brew. cfc241974
  • Score: 0

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