Open verdict on Wakefield lorry driver’s death after fall

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AN INQUEST jury recorded an open verdict after hearing a lorry driver from Normanton near Wakefield died more than two weeks after suffering a broken ankle in a fall at work.

Peter Scales, 49, died on 18 February 2015 of a pulmonary embolism after suffering deep vein thrombosis while in plaster and immobile after fracturing his right ankle in the fall.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard he fell in the early hours of February 3 last year while working for logistics company Kuehne and Nagel at John Smith’s Brewery, Tadcaster.

The inquest jury stated in the record of inquest that it was “unclear” what had caused Mr Scales, of Beverley Close, Normanton, to fall.

The jury also stated that it was “unclear” if the use of the needle and syringe method of administering medication to help prevent the formation of blood clots was demonstrated to Mr Scales when it was prescribed at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, on February 11.

The inquest jury was told Mr Scales parked his HGV tractor unit near the Kuehne and Nagel office at the brewery in the early hours of February 3 before falling while walking to the office to report a defect on the vehicle.

Kuehne and Nagel site manager Ben Varley said he went out and inspected the area outside the office immediately after Mr Scales reported that he had fallen.

Mr Varley said Heineken had arranged for a contractor to grit the area the night before and said there was no snow or ice in the area where Mr Scales had fallen.

Mr Varley said Mr Scales could not give him an explanation of how he had fallen. The inquest heard Mr Scales had told his wife Janet that he had fallen while pulling the curtain on the HGV’s trailer.

Health and Safety visiting officer Lesley Shambrook concluded there were no defects on the concrete floor in the area where Mr Scales fell.

Recording an open conclusion, the inquest jury stated: “It is unclear what caused him to fall.”

Sarah Champion MP

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