Man Wins £450,000 After Fall from Ladder


An electrical engineer who had his leg amputated below the knee after an accident at work has won £450,000 in compensation.
Keith Waring was working up a 13-foot ladder removing external cabling from the side of a house when the accident happened. The cabling gave way and he fell backwards, landing heavily on a paved patio area.
Even though he landed on his feet, both Mr Waring’s ankles were very badly fractured. In hospital, he had to have an external fixator attached to his right ankle in order to hold the bone in place. However, the injuries to his left ankle were so serious that he had to have his leg amputated below the knee.
Mr Waring now has to wear an artificial limb on his left leg and still has to keep the external fixator on his right leg. As a result of the accident, his life has changed completely: he is now unable to do many of the things he used to enjoy.
A claim was brought against Mr Waring’s former employer, alleging that it had not taken the steps necessary to ensure the safety of its employee. Employers have a duty to protect staff from foreseeable accidents. In this situation, the company should have ensured that Mr Waring had undergone appropriate training to carry out the work. Furthermore, had he been provided with a safety harness or had scaffolding been erected in order to enable him to carry out the work, the accident could have been avoided.
The company involved admitted liability and Mr Waring was awarded £450,000 in compensation.
Employers have a duty to make sure that employees have a safe working environment. In the year 2007/2008, a total of 58 workers died and over 3,600 suffered major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Many of these accidents could have been prevented by using the right equipment and taking simple precautions. This includes carrying out a risk assessment if the use of ladders or stepladders is necessary.
If you are injured in an accident at work because of inadequate health and safety measures, contact us to discuss your claim.
For information on safe working at height, see the HSE website.

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