Accident at Work

A school caretaker has received £30,000 compensation after damaging his knee when he fell from a ladder at work.
The caretaker, who worked in Leeds, was attempting to unlock a toilet cubicle door when the ladder he was using slipped on shiny quarry tiles because the non-slip caps to stop the bottom feet of the ladder from slipping were missing.

He said, ‘I guess that I was three or four foot up the ladder when the ladder started to slide. I had no choice but to jump off and when I landed my left knee gave way.’

Torn Ligament in Knee

The caretaker had to have two operations to repair a torn ligament and now has a prominent scar on the front of his knee. The injury also puts him at risk of knee-replacement surgery in the future.

He said, ‘It seems incredible looking back, but at the time of my accident there was no system for inspection of the ladders that we used’.

Tim Roache, GMB Regional Secretary said, ‘This was an accident waiting to happen and the employee was (literally) the fall guy. Ladders are essential equipment for caretakers yet, incredibly, there was no system in place to check that they were safe. The good news is that the employers now have a system in place’.

John Gibson from Thompsons Solicitors, said, ‘Employers have a duty to make sure that the equipment they provide is safe for employees to use. Something as basic as a ladder with no nonslip caps should have been put right, but wasn’t, and their employee has to live with the long-term consequences of that failure’.