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Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensure an adequate risk assessment is conducted to identify the risk of a fall from height from the mezzanine; and
- Ensure appropriate controls, for example edge protection or a balustrade, were in place to protect workers from the risk of a fall onto and through the false/suspended ceiling.
Within this building there is a mezzanine accessible by stairs above the first floor. Immediately adjacent to the mezzanine is a false ceiling primarily constructed of plasterboard which sits 2½ metres above the first floor. There was no balustrade or edge protection to partition the mezzanine from the false ceiling. The mezzanine was constructed without a consent and at the time of the accident it was non-compliant with the Building Code by virtue of the lack of balustrade.
The victim, an employee of the Defendant, was moving boxes containing paperwork on the mezzanine. The victim bent down to push a box along the carpet to the edge of the mezzanine. As they stood up, their foot slipped off the side of the mezzanine, causing them to overbalance and fall through the false ceiling to the floor 2½ metres below.
The victim suffered a broken arm, broken right shoulder, broken right collarbone, fractures to the left side of their pelvis, and a laceration to their head.