Ladders And The Loss Of A Local Legend
Ladder safety is always an important consideration because there are so many accidents here in the UK that involve the use of ladders. Falling from a ladder is one of the most common workplace injuries and despite efforts to raise awareness, there are still roughly 50 deaths per year in Britain following a fall from a ladder. The dangers involved in using ladders were highlighted back in February when a footballing legend lost his life following a fall from a ladder.
Sevenoaks local footballing legend Mick Ashby thrilled generations of young football fans playing for Ightham Football Club and later went on to become the Club’s coach and caretaker. Nicknamed ‘Munch’, Mick touched the lives of young fans in the area. He started off as a rugby player for Sevenoaks RFC but suffered a knee injury which led him to make the switch to football. He excelled as centre half in the 1970s and 1980s before hanging up his match boots and moving on to the trusted role of coach. During his coaching years, Mick focused mainly on the reserves, helping many youngsters progress to the adult game. He acted as a father figure to generations of youngsters starting out in the beautiful game and his presence on the touchline had a positive influence on so many. He would referee games and also carried out repairs to the club’s pavilion.
Earlier this year, 62 year old HGV driver Mick was repairing storm damaged tiles on a roof when he fell 30 feet. Mick had been using two ladders to access the roof and the lower ladder became unhooked from the upper ladder. The bottom ladder moved one way while the top ladder moved in the opposite direction and, although Mick reached for the roof, he was unable to hold on and fell. Mr. Ashby was knocked unconscious when he hit the ground and was rushed by air ambulance to Royal London Hospital for treatment. Mick’s wife and son in law were witnesses as they watching the accident unfold in horror.
Despite hospital treatment for a traumatic brain injury and a series of fractures to his ribs, spine and face, Mick didn’t regain consciousness and died five days later with his family at his bedside. Following his death on 19th February, tributes poured in from generations of fans far and wide.
At the subsequent hearing Coroner Kate Thomas concluded that Mick’s death was the result of a tragic accident.
This is just one more story on just how dangerous using ladders can be and serves to warn us that safety is the most important issue when using a ladder. Although there is plenty of information available on ladder safety, we often think that this is aimed at those who use ladders in the workplace. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anybody using a ladder, whether in work or at home needs to follow the correct procedures and carry out the requisite checks to ensure that the risk of falling is minimised at all times.