Falling from height by its very nature entails the risk of serious injury at work. Often head injuries can be amongst the most catastrophic but this case involved a very unusual injury sustained in a fall from height at work as the worker fell vertically, landing on and fracturing both heels.
The accident happened when the worker was engaged in an operation as a “banksman” assisting a crane driver to load large metal cabinets onto the back of a lorry. The operation had not been properly risk assessed and crucially it was being conducted outside in the open air due to the bulk of the cabinets to be loaded.
Little regard had been paid to health and safety issues arising and in particular no account had been taken of the potential effects of the wind striking the side of the suspended cabinets as they were being loaded.
As our client was positioned on the back of the lorry the cabinet was swung towards him and he was guiding it in to place when a sudden powerful gust of wind caused the cabinet to swing our client off the back of the lorry. Momentarily he was suspended mid air clinging to the wrapping but this tore under his weight causing him to fall vertically and fracture both heels.
This is a particularly nasty injury as mobility is clearly and obviously restricted following such a serious injury. Our client’s losses in the area of loss of earnings were restricted as he was beyond retirement age and due to stop working in any event. Despite that we were able to secure a life changing settlement and thankfully he made a very good if incomplete recovery from his injuries so we could rest assured he would be able to enjoy his retirement.