A PAINTER and decorator who fell from a ladder died three years later as a result of his injuries, a court was told.
Trevor Dawson was left with significant brain damage and needed round-the-clock care after he fell from a ‘flimsy’ domestic ladder in August 2007.
The 62-year-old from Ravensthorpe also suffered epileptic fits as a result. It was during one of those fits that he died at Fieldhead Park nursing in Mirfield on June 23 last year.
A jury at Bradford Coroner’s Court heard this week from Mr Dawson’s employers and colleagues, who all agreed the ladder was unsuitable for industrial use. But it remains unclear who owned the ladder and how it ended up at the student accommodation in Huddersfield where Mr Dawson was helping with renovation work.
Mr Dawson, of The Crescent, had been sub-contracted by Liversedge Decorating Contractors Limited. On August 15, 2007, he was painting a dormer window three metres above a stairwell.
Tiler Keith Cunningham told the court: “I heard this scream. Trevor was kind of hugging a section of ladder, falling backwards behind me. His feet hit the stairs and he fell backwards. His head landed onto the floor.”
He said he remembered the ladder being ‘flimsy.’
Site foreman Raymond Coates, of Fosters Turnkey Contracts Limited, said he rang for an ambulance straight away.
He helped clear a path for the ambulance, while two joiners removed a window for the stretchers to be lifted through.
In a statement before her husband’s death, Jacqueline Dawson said: “Trevor is just a shadow of the person he used to be. His life now consists of sitting in a chair at the nursing home or in bed. I feel that as a family we have been robbed of a husband, father and grandfather.”
Consultant pathologist Dr Philip Batman said Mr Dawson died of an epileptic fit due to brain damage caused by head injuries from the fall.
The court heard the ladder used by Mr Dawson did not meet the standard for industrial use.
Painter Philip Kennedy said the ladders belonged to Liversedge Decorating director Paul Daniel.
He said: “I know Trevor didn’t have his own ladders.”
But Mr Daniel told the court: “I have no idea who owned that ladder. I swear to God I had never seen that ladder before.”
Health and Safety Executive inspector David Stewart said it had not been able to find out who owned the ladders.
But he said Liversedge Decorating, its directors Mr Daniel and Clive Dewhirst, and Fosters Turnkey had all been prosecuted by the HSE for health and safety breaches.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.