Faulty Ladder Makes Caretaker ‘The Fall Guy’

3 Oct 2010

A school caretaker has received £30,000 compensation after damaging his knee when he fell from a ladder at work. The GMB member, who worked in Leeds but whose name has not been released, was attempting to unlock a toilet cubicle door when the ladder he was using slipped on shiny quarry tiles. The non-slip caps to stop the bottom feet of the ladder from slipping were missing.

The injured man 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.’ 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 may require knee replacement surgery in the future. ‘It seems incredible looking back, but at the time of my accident there was no system for inspection of the ladders that we used,’ he said.

GMB regional secretary Tim Roache commented: ‘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.’