The caretaker at a York secondary school broke his back, after falling from a set of ladders as he worked. He was trying to retrieve a shoe from behind a basketball net in the Huntington School sports hall when the accident happened. He fell ten feet and suffered fractured vertebrae.
An official report by City of York Council said he used an “incorrect set of ladders” and said they were not properly footed. The school has now provided full ladder training for all staff who may need to use ladders, and ordered everyone who has not been trained not to use them.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was informed of the accident, which occurred in March, but has ruled that no further action is necessary.
John Tomsett, head teacher at Huntington, said: “Following the incident a full investigation was undertaken by the school, assisted by City of York Council.
“The results of the investigation were forwarded to the HSE as a matter of course. The investigation identified some improvements that could be made, but no enforcement action was taken by the HSE.”
He said the caretaker, who has not been named, had an occupational health appointment lastweek, and it was hoped he could return to work this week or the week after.
The council’s official report said: “A pupil had thrown a shoe which got caught behind the basketball net. The caretaker attempted to remove the shoe using an incorrect class of ladders. The ladders weren’t footed and the caretaker fell. The fall resulted in fractured vertebrae.”
Mr Tomsett said: “We have now provided ladder training for everybody who intends using ladders and made it utterly clear that unless you have had ladder training you cannot use ladders on site.”
As reported in The Press last month, the number of City of York Council staff injured at work has reduced in the past year. There were 657 “incidents or near misses” in 2008/9 – down from 821 the year before.