Ladder Locker - The next step in Working At Height safety
After a serious life-changing accident at work involving a fall from height due to being lied to about safety regulations by his employer, Dylan Skelhorn, who is now permanently injured speaks about the effects of his accident to his life and the people around him’s lives. The main aim here is to stop these types of accidents happening to others to prevent further pain and suffering.
Dylan worked as a Solid Fuel Heating Engineer for a small company who specialised in Chimney work and Roofing where most of his work was at height. In June 2011, he was deployed to service a chimney and while standing on the chimney stack, it collapses from underneath him. He fell headfirst down a pitched roof, knocking over an unsecured extension ladder and fell a total of 33 feet, landing on a brick wall and sustaining severe multiple life-changing injuries.
His pelvis was broken on both sides, he broke two ribs and punctured his right lung which have left him in severe lifelong pain. He now takes a cocktail of drugs every day to control his pain and hasn’t been able to return to physical work since.
Dylan has been working as a Motivational Safety Speaker since 2014, sharing his story to try and prevent other having life-changing accidents which he is very determined and passionate about. He is involved in projects to prevent Working At Height injuries and deaths but his story is relevant in any sector because it is about a life-changing accident and not just about a fall from height. His story is a harsh reminder to those in all industries and at every level that unfortunately these incidents are still happening today.
He travels the length of the UK and Ireland presenting to lots of companies and is prepared to travel even further to share his story. He has presented to tens of thousands of people. In 2017, Dylan was asked by major national construction company Willmott Dixon to be their Safety Ambassador and worked with them full time for three years visiting all of their sites and offices and still continues to present for them.
Dylan has been a Safety Ambassador for the No Falls Foundation since it was formed in. 2017 which is the first and only UK-based charity devoted exclusively to the Working At Height sector. The Foundation is dedicated to preventing falls from height and helping people affected by the life-changing consequences of a fall and Dylan wants to help stop as many accidents, injuries and deaths as possible, not only through speaking about his accident but also by being involved with his charity.
Dylan shares a post on the 10th anniversary of his accident and speaks about his new, ground-breaking product.
“It’s 10 years ago today (20th June) since my accident which involved a 33 feet fall from height and then landing on a wall that almost killed me and I wanted to mark the occasion with something positive. I was lied to by my employer and told that he had a H.S.E. dispensation allowing his employees to work at height without wearing safety harnesses or fall protection equipment and on the first day of starting with this company as a Heating Engineer, I asked for someone to foot my ladder to stop it moving and was quickly told that ‘We don’t foot ladders here because the boss isn’t going to pay for someone to stand at the bottom of your ladder when they could be doing another job somewhere else and making him more money.’ Being a Firefighter for 6 years previously, I knew this wasn’t a safe way of working with ladders, but I continued on as jobs were scarce at the time, which in hindsight, was the wrong decision. As time went on and I was going out to jobs on my own and climbing ladders, I could feel them moving unsafely beneath me which scared me, and I knew this was unsafe and that I could be seriously injured or worse. My immediate thought was to search online for a ladder stabiliser that would stop my ladder from moving while I work alone but I could not find anything that would prevent a ladder from moving and ant strong wind would have blown a ladder over if used with any of the devices on offer. I then had an idea for a product that would use weight to stop a ladder moving, work on uneven ground and force the ladder to always be positioned at the correct angle. Unfortunately, I had the accident in June 2011 just before getting the chance to leave this company which I had planned to do. Although I should have been wearing a safety harness, I would not have fallen from the edge of the roof if my ladder had been secured properly because it would have stopped me falling the further 20 feet to the ground from the pitched roof and my injuries would have been much less severe. Since 2014, I have been working hard to try to prevent accidents happening to other people through my Motivational Safety Speaking business Safety Up www.safetyup.co.uk to help make a difference and now I also want to be able to physically stop falls from height by making safe equipment available to everyone. My passion and goal now are to prevent as many falls from height as possible and today, 10 years to the day of my accident, I’d like to unveil my patented invention, Ladder Locker – A one of a kind Ladder Stabiliser”.
This innovative and brilliant creation, Ladder Locker, seems a perfect way to help put an end to unnecessary falls from height and just might be the next step in working at height safety.
For more information visit www.safetyup.co.uk or visit linkedin.com/in/dylanskelhorn.