Inquest hears of building site death

By James HoreA FATHER-OF-THREE died after falling nine feet from a mezzanine floor as he worked to salvage wood from a builders' merchants. Brian Lampe, known as Bob, was employed by a contractor to help on a re-fit at Kent Blaxill's premises in Kirby Cross.

By James Hore

A FATHER-OF-THREE died after falling nine feet from a mezzanine floor as he worked to salvage wood from a builders' merchants.

Brian Lampe, known as Bob, was employed by a contractor to help on a re-fit at Kent Blaxill's premises in Kirby Cross.

An inquest in Chelmsford heard yesterday that Mr Lampe, 68, was only on his second day of work dismantling the floor when the accident happened.


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He had been making his way around the raised flooring, removing facia boards with a crowbar, at about 12.30pm on December 30, 2003.

But as he moved sideways, Mr Lampe put his left foot through an open gate in the security rail and fell to the floor.

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Mr Lampe, of Wavring Avenue, Kirby Cross, was flown by Essex Air Ambulance to Colchester General Hospital, but died 18 days later from multiple organ failure and abdominal trauma.

Benjamin Staples said he had been knocking facia off the wall when Mr Lampe had come over.

“He was standing on the mezzanine floor and was walking sideways. His left foot stepped off and he swivelled round as he went down and landed on his front on the concrete floor below,” he added.

“He was levering off the facia boards with a crowbar and looking up, but walking sideways, I guess he just was not looking where he was going.”

Michael Heinsen, a self-employed general maintenance man, was employed by Kent Blaxill to remove the mezzanine floor and brought in Mr Lampe, who was a “very good mate”, to help him.

He said the gate had been open for most of the day because the materials were being handed down through the gap.

Kelvin Rix, personnel director for Kent Blaxill, said the minor refurbishment work had all been contracted out, with Mr Heinsen allowed to salvage what materials he could, as well as being paid a sum of money.

But it was revealed none of the Kent Blaxill employees working on the refit had training or experience in taking an office down.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. Kent Blaxill declined to comment yesterday.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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