A young man has spoken out about the devastating impact that falling off a ladder can have on someone’s life after being seriously injured in an accident at work.
Lee Rutherford, 23, fell over four metres from a ladder while installing equipment at a school in North Yorkshire, a court was told.
He fractured an arm and a leg in the fall, had to undergo re-constructive surgery and developed side-effects in his shoulder from the treatment he was given.
His employer Hedley Solutions Ltd, was fined £10,000 and told to pay costs of £1,296 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act while working at Filey Junior School in June last year.
Following the hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Mr Rutherford, of Durham, said falling from a ladder can affect people for the rest of their lives.
He called on people using extension ladders to stop and think about their own safety first, adding that his fall had left him in constant pain and with a lack of movement in his arm.
Ladders were not secured
Mr Rutherford added that he had returned to work but was no longer with the Peterborough-based company he was employed by at the time of his accident.
Hedley Solutions Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it investigated Mr Rutherford’s accident.
Magistrates heard that he and a colleague had been installing audio visual equipment at the school when he fell.
Mr Rutherford was working at the top of a set of combination ladders – being used as an extension ladder and placed against the school hall’s internal wall – so he could push an IT cable through to the loft area.
But the ladder slipped, sending him falling some four-and-a-half metres to the floor.
The court heard the HSE investigation established that the ladders had not been secured with no effective anti-slip device in place to make them stable.
It also found that Hedley Solutions Ltd hadn’t properly planned or assessed the job. The HSE said if that had been done the firm would have identified the risks and could have provided an elevated working platform or tower scaffold, which would have been more suitable for the work.
Accident Advice Helpline specialises in compensation for people who have been injured in accidents at work or in slips, trips and falls.
Source: Press Reader
Date Published: June 24, 2014
Author: David Brown