Fall from height at work
A Hartlepool man who was left fighting for his life after a fall from height through an asbestos roof has thanked a law firm who helped him win a two-year battle to convince his then-employers to accept liability.
Stephen Preston, now 24, was working for Height Solutions at the headquarters of black cab manufacturer London Taxi International in Coventry in October 2005.
He was instructed to carry a heavy fall protection cover along a brittle asbestos roof, which broke under his weight.
Mr Preston fell 20 feet and landed on a concrete floor, suffering internal bleeding and a severely lacerated liver.
He is now being represented by Neil Wilkinson, a solicitor and personal injury specialist at Newcastle law firm Irwin Mitchell.
Mr Wilkinson said: "It sounds incredible, but Mr Preston was actually very lucky he narrowly missed several pieces of factory equipment as he landed, when hitting any of them would surely have killed him."
The regulations for people working at height were tightened up in April 2005 and are particularly relevant to Mr Prestons case, where we do not believe enough control was taken over the risks of working on a fragile surface.
The focus at Irwin Mitchell is always on ensuring accident victims are given appropriate long-term care. Although Mr Preston has made an excellent recovery, we will be seeking compensation for the injuries he suffered in an accident that, with proper procedures in place, could have been avoided.
Mr Preston said: "I am happy that the employers have finally admitted liability that they were primarily liable for my accident. Irwin Mitchell has been incredibly helpful in taking this first step."
However, in the circumstances, I feel even more fortunate that I have survived without suffering any severe disability. I will certainly be looking for ground-based employment in the future.
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