Man Awarded £450,000 After Ladder Fall Left Him Needing Amputated Leg

Serious Injury In Fall From Height

10.12.2009

A man who was left needing a below knee amputation to his left leg, after falling from a 13 foot ladder at work, has been awarded £450,000 to fund his future care and rehabilitation.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell secured the settlement for Keith Waring, from Dinnington, after his employer, Rhino in Rotherham, admitted liability for the accident.

Irwin Mitchell is now calling for other employers to learn from this case, as Mr Waring’s accident would have been avoided had he been given a safety harness and training.

Mr Waring was working as an electrical engineer when some external cabling he was removing from the side of a house gave way.

This caused him to fall backwards off the ladder onto a block paved patio, and although he managed to land on both feet, the impact of the fall left him with serious crash fractures to both ankles.

Mr Waring was admitted to hospital where he underwent an operation to put an external fixator to his right ankle, but his left ankle was so badly damaged that his left leg was amputated below the knee.

David Urpeth, Head of Workplace Injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Employers have a duty of care to their workers and must provide them with suitable training and equipment for the job in hand.

“In this case, Mr Waring should have been given scaffolding or a harness to make sure he was safe, and should not have been asked to carry out a dangerous task he had not been given training for.

“Falls from heights remain the most common cause of serious injury in the workplace, and employers must take steps to address this.”

Mr Waring’s injuries mean he now has to wear a prosthesis on his left leg, as well as the external fixator on his right leg. Although he has undergone extensive rehabilitation to aid his recovery, he still requires significant care from his wife.

Mr Waring said: “The accident has changed my life completely as I can no longer do many of the things I used to love. I am very grateful that Irwin Mitchell has secured the settlement to go towards the rehabilitation and care I now need.

“Although the injuries I sustained are very serious, in many ways I was very lucky because I managed to land on my feet. It doesn’t bear thinking about what would have happened if I’d landed differently or banged my head.

“The simple fact is that the accident should never have happened, and it would never have happened if my employer had given me the correct training and safety equipment for the job in hand.”

Find out more if you or someone close to you has needed an amputation following a work accident.

Our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation if you have suffered an injury at work that resulted in the amputation of a limb. See our Amputation Claims page or Workplace Accident Claims page for more information.