A Dunedin man's death after he fell from a ladder has
prompted a safety warning by Otago-Southland coroner David
Charles Proctor (80) died at Dunedin Hospital on December 31
last year, having fallen from a ladder while cleaning windows
at his Musselburgh Rise house the previous evening. In his
formal findings, Mr Crerar said the actions by Mr Proctor in
using the ladder were in the circumstances unwise and proved
He recommended the use of ladder safety tips be drawn to the
public's attention and that copies of his findings be
forwarded to the Accident Compensation Corporation and the
Department of Labour.
ACC data showed more than 4000 New Zealanders suffered
serious injuries after falling from ladders in the home each
year, and in 2011 more than 260,000 claims were lodged with
the organisation in respect of falls in and around the home.
Mr Crerar said the lesson to be learned from Mr Proctor's
death was that those using ladders must exercise an
appropriate degree of care.
''His death was a tragedy but it would be a further tragedy
if the community could not learn from the circumstances,'' Mr
On December 30 last year, Mr Proctor's daughter called at his
home after he failed to show up for an organised dinner.
She found him sitting in a chair. He had vomited on himself
and was bleeding and confused.
A ladder and one of Mr Proctor's shoes was lying on the
ground outside the house.
Mr Proctor was taken to Dunedin Hospital where he was found
to have a fractured skull, internal bleeding and other
injuries which collectively were so extensive only palliative
care was appropriate, Mr Crerar's findings stated.
Mr Proctor died in hospital about 19 hours after being
It was not known whether he fainted or had a heart attack
while up the ladder, or if it slipped.
Mr Crerar said ladders should be checked before use, never
used if broken or missing pieces, and set on firm, even