A man was in a coma for two months after suffering a serious ladder accident at work.
Carl Major was injured while working for MacDonald Joinery & Construction Ltd in September 2008. While performing renovations at a then Rosebys store at a large retail park, he went to work up a set of stepladders. While stripping out fixtures and fittings he was struck on the head by a falling light pelmet.
The impact knocked him off the ladder causing him to plummet three metres to a concrete floor. He suffered severe injuries in the fall that put him in a coma for two months. His head injuries meant that he later developed epilepsy, lost his sense of smell, and has since been unable to work. Many workers who are subjected to such a serious accident are eligible to make a head injury claim.
The Health and Safety Executive decided to prosecute the firm in regards to the accident. This was because although they had done a risk assessment on working at height, they had failed to look at how the lighting pelmets were constructed and the dangers they could pose to workers.
They pleaded guilty to breaking the Health and Safety Act at Teesside Magistrates' Court and were fined £15,000 this week.
Ladders remain a quick method of safe access providing the equipment is suitably maintained, the job properly risk assessed and adequate training provided. These simple measures cannot only save employers thousands in compensation claims but save lives.