A steeplejack worker has suffered a serious ankle injury after falling from height at work.
Kevin Ford was working for Rafferty Chimneys Engineering Ltd. when the accident occurred back in March 2009. The firm had been employed to carry out an inspection of four 20 metre high steel chimneys at a pottery firm in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. To do this they had erected tower scaffolding.
Mr Ford was helping to take down the scaffold after the work was completed when the incident occurred. He slipped and fell one and a half metres from the scaffold to the floor below. He fractured his ankle in the fall and was required to spend 4 months in plaster while his injuries healed. The injury was so severe that it required metal pins surgically inserted into the bone.
Mr Ford’s employers – Rafferty Chimneys Engineering Ltd. – were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They discovered that the scaffold had inadequate guard rails, and an absence of toe boards. They were fined £8,000 and made to pay legal costs as well.
It is unclear whether Mr Ford claimed ankle injury compensation from his employers after the accident or not. What is clear however is that working at height remains one of the biggest safety risks for workers in the UK.