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Ripon builder died working on luxury Easingwold house extension, inquest told
AN inquest has heard how a builder died of head injuries after falling from a stepladder while working on a luxury home extension.
Derek Wensley, 62, from Youd House Head Farm, Eavestone, Ripon, was working on a property in Alne, near Easingwold, helping build an extension that would include a cinema, gym and other rooms.
The jury inquest at County Hall, Northallerton, heard how Mr Wensley and the other builders had been using a stepladder to reach the first floor joists of the extension being built over a garage.
The freestanding ladder stopped just short of the joists.
Mr Wensley was working as a sub-contractor for Peter Wright, from Baldersby, owner of PW Joinery.
He told the inquest how on the afternoon of August 12 Mr Wensley had gone down the ladder to get more cement. He heard a rattle of the steps and a shout and ran down to find Mr Wensley on the floor.
He told the inquest: “I was first there. I was in shock. I didn’t realise to start with how bad he was. Then I noticed the blood and phoned for the ambulance.”
Mr Wright tried to resuscitate him while they waited for paramedics. He was flown by air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead.
The inquest heard nobody witnessed whether the ladder overturned as the builder climbed the ladder with a bucket of cement or whether he fell.
HM Inspector for the Health and Safety Inspectorate, Yolande Burns-Sleightholme, inspected the site shortly after the accident. She said she ideally would expect a stepladder to be fixed in some way, possibly by tying it to the joists, and said the ladder could be made more insecure by carrying heavy objects.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
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