Safety Ladders News Roundup - February
With ladder safety regularly in the news here in the UK at Safety Fabrications we keep fully up to date with what’s going on in the world of ladders so that we can provide our readers with a regular news roundup blog on this topic. Once a month, one of our blog posts deals with news stories from the past month that feature ladders of any kind. It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here. Please join in by adding your comments below the regular news roundup postings.
First up is the disturbing story of loft ladder suffocation killer, Harry Scott who has been sentenced to three years for manslaughter. Scott of Ramsgate, Louth, was convicted by jury following a month long trial. A friend of Scott’s, 32 year old Richard Woods was asphyxiated when he got trapped between the rungs of a ladder as he tried to escape bullying behaviour by Scott. Scott actually beat Mr. Woods with a length of wood while he was trapped in the ladder after the two men had spent the evening drinking in pubs in their local town.
A recent inquest heard the case of David Elks, a 50 year old fit and healthy father who died when he fell from a ladder at his own home. Mr. Elks of Upper Poppleton, York, was completing an extension on his home when he fell. Earlier a neighbour had expressed concerns about the safety of the ladder which belonged to a scaffolding company and was being used by a builder contracted by Mr. Elks.
Meanwhile, in Leominster, Hereford, 91 year old Kenneth Gough died after a loft ladder fell on him. The “active and independent” Mr. Gough was found by his daughter on November 9th. Unfortunately, he’d been lying on the floor overnight and had developed aspiration pneumonia and died in hospital a few days later.
On the health and safety front, Newcastle Racecourse has banned picnics from being brought to the track on the grounds that picnickers’ chairs and picnic rugs were a “potential trip hazard”. While the Racecourse claims that the move would leave more room for spectators, racegoers are accusing the racecourse of profiteering from its visitors and claim that the move is to encourage more people to buy food and drink from on-site facilities.
The Chairman of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Judith Hackitt has taken a refreshing approach to claims that we over-protect and “mollycoddle” children these days. Ms. Hackitt says that children “should be able to play, fall over and hurt themselves” as part of a normal childhood. With accidents at work on the decrease here in the UK, perhaps it’s time to give a little more attention to domestic injuries and raise awareness of the issue of health and safety in the home.