An experienced scaffolder who sustained severe injuries in a 40-foot fall has won a £90,000 compensation settlement.
Trevor Cox, 43, had worked as a scaffolder for 20 years and had never had an accident before. He had just started dismantling scaffolding at the Drax Power Station in Wakefield when he stepped onto what he thought was a metal platform. It was in fact made of plastic and was not strong enough to bear his weight.
In the resultant fall, Mr Cox suffered a suspected spine fracture, broken ribs and dislocation of and nerve damage to his left shoulder. He can no longer work as a scaffolder as it is painful for him to raise his left arm above shoulder height. Instead, he has had to find work as a scaffolding inspector.
Mr Cox brought a claim against his employer, Cape Industries Ltd., because he had been told to dismantle the scaffolding without being warned that the platform was unsafe. His employer denied liability for the accident but agreed to an out of court settlement of £90,000 shortly before the case was due to be heard.
Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of workplace injury. Erecting and dismantling scaffolding is particularly dangerous and each job should be carefully planned. Safety procedures must be put in place that are easy for workers to understand and take into account all foreseeable risks. These should be monitored regularly and staff training kept up to date.