Rigger Fell 30ft Into Water Pit

Fall at Work

07.10.2008

A rigger who plunged to his death after wandering onto a platform above a power station water pit was on his first day of a new job, an inquest heard.

Agency worker Christopher Booker, 49, fell 30ft after slipping through a hole in a platform at Aberthaw Power Station, in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales, on June 10, 2007, Cardiff Coroner's Court heard.

The inquest was told Mr Booker had no reason to be on the platform, which was in darkness at the time, but there had been little to stop him wandering on to it.

A post mortem showed he died of multiple injuries to his chest and pelvis, and toxicology reports revealed he had alcohol in his system and was slightly over the drink-drive limit.

Colleagues of Mr Booker, an agency worker for RWE npower's Technical Services Group, said they had been told to stand down or "go for a smoke" while they waited for their work to begin.

David Carpenter told the inquest: "I can only guess that Chris went up there to get away from the noise, to use his mobile phone or just out of curiosity. I think he walked into the seal pit totally unaware."

The inquest continues.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a terrible work accident.

"Falls from height remain a major cause of serious injury and death caused in workplace accidents.

"I regularly represent workers who have been injured or killed in work accidents, following serious falls or when hit by falling objects."