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Behind words is Leslie’s agony
3:19pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Local news
‘Industrial accident’ is a strangely, or perhaps for legal reasons deliberately, emotionless phrase.
But if ever there was an illustration of the real human agony that can lie behind the clinical language, it is there in the story of what happened to Otley man Leslie Wagstaff.
As reported this week, Leslie suffered horrific injuries after a tall hill of compacted waste collapsed onto him when he was working for Nutramulch Yorkshire Ltd at Arthington quarry last May. More than a year later, the after-effects of a fractured spine, snapped foot and other crush injuries are still dominating his existence. They have forced the 62-year-old to call an end to his working life and, by severely limiting his ability to get about or to sit upright, effectively stopped him from pursuing some of his favourite pasttimes, like guitar playing and hillwalking.
Leslie, and the law firm representing him, is still trying to find out the full facts behind what happened on that fateful day when the massive pile of waste – which he believes was 30ft tall, and therefore much higher than it should have been – fell and knocked him out.
Nutramulch has since gone into liquidation, which has not made that task any easier, so his appeal for ex-colleagues to get in touch to help build a picture of working conditions at the site is an urgent one. We sincerely hope he gets a response.
Because all employers have a duty of care to their workers and even more so when the workplace concerned is somewhere as dangerous as a quarry.
Leslie deserves, at the very least, to be given a full description of what safeguards were, or were not, in place on the day his life was changed forever.
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