Safety Ladders News Roundup - September
Ladder safety hits the headlines on a regular basis here in Britain so we offer our readers a regular news roundup blog for safety ladders. Once a month, one of our blog posts features a range of news stories from the past month that deal with ladders of all types. It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here. If you have anything to add or if you’ve come across some news stories that you’d like us to cover, them please get in touch by email and let us know.
In a story which serves to highlight the need for ladders to be safely tied onto a vehicle during transportation, a nurse was recently killed when her car was hit by a ladder which fell from the roof of a VW transporter van on a quiet country road in Gwynedd, North Wales. Sue Owen, from Anglesey, mother of two, was driving her white BMW when the ladder fell from the roof of the van which was travelling in the opposite direction. Here at Safety Fabrications, we’ve already stressed just how vital it is that ladders are safely secured during transportation, for full details, check out this blog post.
Then there’s the case of the retired builder in Bristol who died after falling 25ft from a ladder that slipped from the roof he was working on. John Switalski, 67 year old, regularly carried out maintenance to the hostel where he’d lived for several years, putting his building skills to good use following his retirement. However, last October, Mr. Switalski climbed onto a flat roof before putting up a ladder when it slipped and he fell, sustaining unsurvivable head injuries. Despite the rapid arrival of an ambulance crew who rushed Mr. Switalski to the Emergency Department of Southmead Hospital, he died the following day as a result of his injuries.
This one is for the annual Idiots on Ladders competition for sure. A man was recently spotted working at height using a ladder combined with the front end loader of a farm tractor! The man was working on the gable end of a building using a ladder which had been propped in the loader bucket of the tractor and then lifted to the height (7 metres) necessary to perform the task at hand. The ladder was being held steady by a colleague in the loader bucket and, to add insult to injury, the tractor was parked on the uneven surface of the pavement and the work area had not been cordoned off to protect passers-by.
Meanwhile, 22 year old Jake Metcalfe from North Wingfield in Derbyshire was devastated when his pet parrot, Cocoa, flew out of the door and into his neighbour’s garden. Jake, who has autism, slept under the tree in which the blue and gold macaw parrot had perched in order to protect him. An appeal for help went out over the local radio station and landscape gardener, David Williams rushed to the rescue with a set of ladders and recovered the bird from the 100ft tree in which it had taken up temporary residence.