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1 WORKS ACCIDENT - CLIENT STATEMENT 1. This statement is made by 2. On behalf of the claimant 3. No of statement: 4. Date: IN THE COUNTY COURT Claim No: BETWEEN: TONY MARTIN Glaimant and Defendant f, Tony Martin of 100 Park Road, Cheshire, SK1 222,will say and state as follows: - 1. I am 32 years of age. My date of birth is the 1'' of January My National Insurance number is: ND A. 3. I am employed as a Gas Engineer by Balfour Beatty of Manchester. 4. Prior to my present employment I worked as a Street Light Operative for the Street Lighting Department of Stockport Borough Council. 5. I commenced work for the council in November When I was initially interviewed for the job I was told I would receive training. I was told that I would undergo an induction period and would subject to a six-month probationary period. 6. As my main job was working on a 'cherry picker' I was instructed on how to operate it. Other than the Umist course I attended on lifting and handling, I received no other training whatsoever. I was carrying out electrical work with no training though I had been told I would receive training. 7. For 99% of the time my job involved working at height from the platform of a 'cherry picker' hydraulic arm, replacing light bulbs, fitting Christmas lights and running electrical cables from lampposts for other purposes.

2 2 L Another section of street lighting was responsible for removal and replacement of lampposts. This includes the fitting of various signs to lampposts. The men doing that job were called erectors. I became involved in that kind of work when one of the erectors was on holiday. 9. On week commencing Monday the 22"d of March 2004, I was engaged assisting one of the erectors on his wagon. Since starting with the council I had assisted with the erectors work for about 2 weeks in total. The experienced erector was in charge and I would do as instructed on a 'watch and learn' basis. 10. I had received no form of formal training in respect of this job. 11. About 2.30pm on Thursday the 25th of March 2004, t was working with erector Mick Mitchell. Mick was driving the wagon. We had a job to fit a no waiting sign to a lamppost on Church Lane, Romiley, Stockport. 12. Church Lane is a one-way street off the main road. With the road being a narrow road our vehicle was obstructing other traffic using the road. 13. Mick told me to take the ladder off the back of the truck and to fit the sign while he drove and waited further along the road. Mick said it was only a 5- minute job to fit the sign. 14. There was only one ladder. 15. Whilst working on street lighting I had never used a pair of freestanding ladders before. All my previous height work had been working from a 'cherry picker'. 16. The ladders were about 15 feet long and went into a'v'shape at the top where they came into contact with a lamppost. The ladders were adapted for use on lampposts. 17. The no parking sign had to be attached at a height of 7 feet from the ground. The lamppost stood on the pavement. I raised the single ladder and placed it against the lamppost. The rubber feet of the ladder I checked, sat evenly on the pavement. 18. The lamppost was a modern standard, constructed of metal. Where the 'V' of the ladder rested the lamppost was quite thin. 19. I was wearing safety boots and a hard hat. The weather was fine and the pavement was dry.

3 a J 20. I satisfied myself that the ladder was stable and I climbed up several feet, positioning my chest area opposite the desired 7-foot height for the sign. 21. I leaned against the ladder as I worked with my arms outstretched on either side of the ladder. The sign was fixed in place using metal banding fitted around the lamppost. I managed to fit the sign and began tightening the banding. This involved holding the sign in position with my left hand whilst twisting the end of the banding to tighten it. 22. Whilst leaning slightly to the right to tighten the banding, the ladder moved and twisted around at the top, then came away from the lamppost. I tried to grab the lamppost but I came off the ladder and fell straight down, feet first. I landed heavily on my right foot as the ladder hit the ground. 23. My right leg had been in a straight and locked position when it came into contact with the pavement. I did not fall over. I felt immediate pain from my right ankle and couldn't put weight on it. I had to hop about 100 yards to the truck, where ltold the driverwhat had happened. 24. In great pain I climbed into the wagon and took my right boot off. My ankle had swollen and it was throbbing with pain. The boot was too heavy to replace and I had to put a trainer shoe on. 25. We drove back to the yard where I had to hobble inside. I couldn't bear to put any weight on my right foot. Climbing the steps to get inside was extremely painful and difficult. 26. Once inside I saw my manager Colin Colinson. He could see I was hobbling and I told him l'd fallen off a ladder. He said, 'Don't you know how to use ladders?' 27. I told him I was only informing him what had happened. He then told me to enter it in the accident book and just pointed down the office, some distance away, to where it was presumably kept. 28. Colin Colinson appeared not to be interested and basically treated the matter lightly. t told him I was in too much pain and needed to get home right away. I was in too much pain to hop down the room to get the accident book and I didn't fill it in. 29. I used to cycle to work every day. I had to cycle home using my left leg only. I was exhausted by the time I arrived home. I hobbled into the house where I put an ice pack on my ankle immediately. I took some Nurofen painkillers, and rested with my foot raised.

4 30. My sleep was badly disturbed that night. I had to keep my ankle outside of the covers all night. 31. The following morning there was more swelling around my ankle and it was still throbbing with pain. 32. I used to do a lot of walking in the Lake District and I had a walking stick I used when doing that. I used the walking stick to assist me get about; I couldn't walk without it. 33. I attended the Accident and Emergency Department, Stockport, where I was examined including x-ray. I was told that I had strained the ligaments in my ankle. I was advised to continue taking Nurofen. 34. I contacted work and reported sick. 35. Dressing myself was painful and difficult. I was unable to use the shower and had to try and wash myself in the sink. 36. I was able only to get about by using the walking stick inside the house. lt was painful and difficult trying to get about. 37. I attended my GP's at the Medical Centre, Stockport, where Dr.Oldham examined me, about 8 days following the accident. 38. Dr. Oldham confirmed the ligament damage to my ankle. I was issued with a sick-note for one week and given advice regarding excises I could do. I was advised to continue taking my own painkillers. 39. lwent back to work after about 10 days, returning the day before Easter Friday. My ankle was still paining me but I believed I needed exercise. I was paid whilst off and suffered no financial loss. 40. Colin Colinson the manager conducted a 'return to work' interview with me. He said that I'd been working in an unsafe manner and asked why there wasn't anybody at the foot of the ladder. 41. l told him I'd been told by the driver to put the sign up while he parked the truck further up the road. I told him I hadn't been told how to use the ladder and that I don't use one at home.

5 42. I also spoke with Mick Mitchell the driver. He told me he'd had a mishaps where the same ladder had slipped, but he'd been able to cling to the lamppost. 43. By the end of the day my right ankle had really swollen up and it was very painful. I wasn't able to ride my bike home and I had to call for my partner to pick me up in her car. 44. I continued taking painkillers and rested as much as I could. 45. I returned to work again following the Easter weekend, but I still couldn't walk properly and my foot was hurting me. I worked in pain throughout the week. I was restricted in the work I could do. 46. During that week, along with other colleagues, l attended a lifting and handling course, run by Umist. 47. The following Monday I had a really bad day. My ankle really pained me and swelled up. l put holidays in for the rest of the week. 48. Whilst I was off work I decided I wasn't going back to work at the council. I didn't consider it to be a safe place to work. I had received no training where health and safety was concerned with the use of ladders. I was not aware another worker had to be at the bottom of the ladder as the manager had suggested in my return to work interview. 49. I posted my notice of resignation to my place of work. 50. I was unable to drive a cat for 3 weeks. When I did resume driving it was painful operating the brake pedal and I couldn't drive long distances. 51. Most weekends I used to go on long walks, rock climbing and backpacking in the Lake District. I wasn't able to resume that activity for about 5 months. 52. I used to play snooker every Friday. I couldn't play for 4 weeks. 53. I used to enjoy running as often as I could. I was unable to resume that activity until August I used to take my son wall climbing every week. I couldn't take him again for 6 weeks.

6 6 55. I used to cycle daily. I have not resumed cycling since leaving the council. 56. Prior to the accident my partner and I enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship. That relationship was severely affected for 2 weeks. 57. I was in pain from my ankle until August I took painkillers every day for two and a half weeks. After that I took them as and when required. 59. I slowly started back walking and running but my ankle is much weaker than it was before and it still gets painful. The cold weather aggravates the ankle and I have to take painkillers. 60. I hold Stockport Council Street Lighting Division responsible for my fall and subsequent injury. 61. I was told to watch and learn from the experienced workers, however they worked a bonus scheme and I felt like a hindrance. I would start to do a job and the more experienced man would take over to get the job done more quickly. They had quota's to meet and couldn't afford the time to train me 62. I was not aware it was policy for another worker to hold the ladders whilst they were being used. I received no health and safety advice or training regarding the use of ladders. 63. The job I was doing at that time was not my usual job and I had not used the ladder before. I was not warned of the dangers associated with the use of that particular type of ladder. I was under the supervision of the experienced man and I used the ladder on my own at his lnstruction. 64. The Street Lighting Departments management have clearly been negligent in their attitude to health and safetv.

7 STATEMENT OF TRUTH I believe the facts stated in this statement to be true. Signed. Claimant

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