Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

July 23, 2015

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Mobility scooter fatality: HSE says walkway was ‘severely decayed’

An inquest has heard how an elderly man died when his mobility scooter fell from a “severely decayed” walkway at an NHS medical centre in Fareham, Hampshire in September 2012.

John Withers, 82, died after crashing through glass panels and falling nearly 4m (12ft) to the ground below. Despite the efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination showed Mr Withers had not suffered a heart attack or other medical episode.

Mr Withers, who had been using a mobility scooter for four years, had been attending a routine appointment at the Osborn Road clinic when the incident occurred.

A witness told the inquest how Mr Wither’s scooter lurched forward and cracked the glass pane.

“It stopped. I thought ‘he’s going to reverse’, but it lurched a second time and went right over,” she said.

HSE inspector, Michael Baxter, told the jury the barriers on the walkway, built in 1977, were affected by white rot decay.

“The decay was severe … all natural structural integrity was lost,” he said.

The inquest continues.

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