We’ve reached the end of the first month of a brand new here in the UK’s construction sector and, as usual at the end of the month we’re taking a look back at all the times ladders and health and safety issues have hit the headlines over the past few weeks. It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here, and if you come across any relevant news that you think should be featured, or if your business has news to share, please let us know by email or comment on our Facebook Page or Twitter stream and we’ll try to add it to our next monthly news roundup.
First up is news that should attract the attention of anybody who uses a ladder during their working day. An air ambulance was scrambled last week to rescue an Ely man in his fifties who fell from a ladder due to high winds! The medical emergency response team had to sedate the unfortunate man at the scene to protect his injuries before taking him to hospital in an ambulance. This is a timely reminder that ladders should not be used during adverse weather conditions, especially when winds are strong.
To add a little glamour to our news reports, X-Factor star Sam Bailey sustained injuries when she was knocked out by a loft ladder at her home whilst retrieving a suitcase from the attic. Sam is currently playing the role of the Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast at De Montfort Hall in Leicester and is determined to get back onto the pantomime stage as soon as possible. Whilst recovering at her home in Leicester, Sam thanked emergency staff who attended the incident and has tweeted that she is “on the mend”.
In some astonishing and dramatic footage capture by CCTV, a shop worker in Wigan bravely fended off armed robbers with a ladder who targeted the convenience store for the second time in a week. The have-a-go hero can be seen wielding a step-ladder to try to prevent the raiders (who were armed with knives) from taking money from the till. The robbers fled the store and police are still searching for them to bring them to justice and request that anybody with any information should contact the police or Crimestoppers.
A recently-formed all party parliamentary group for working at height has launched an inquiry into the number of serious injuries and fatalities that occur due to a fall from height or falling objects and is requesting insights from interested stakeholders.
In a new initiative, health and safety inspectors will be visiting farms across the UK over the coming month to make sure that there are measures in place to prevent falls from height. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), falls are the most common cause of death on British farms with at least 8 fatalities each year.
For our last piece of news, we’re travelling back in time to 1975 when a 15 year old schoolboy in East Berlin braved soldiers’ gunfire to escape to the West using a home-made ladder! Frank Krause’s dramatic escape was caught on camera by an off-duty US soldier and, although Frank survived with minor grazes, he was captured and sent back by the authorities a few days later.