A jury has concluded that demolition worker who died three weeks after breaking his leg at Ironbridge Power Station died from the “combined effects of an accident and natural causes”.
But the jury of 10 men and women were unable to conclude how Paul Wilson had suffered a broken right tibia (shinbone) on Valentine’s Day 2021.
According to local newspaper reports, Wilson had been employed by Demolition Services Ltd – the company charged with demolition the former power station – at the time of the incident.
Members of the jury had been asked to try to decide between two versions of how the accident might have happened.
The only eyewitness – Robert Lynn – had told the Health & Safety Executive that his colleague had tripped. But at the witness stand he admitted lying and said he had been asked by Wilson to stick to the story. But he said he was glad that the truth was out.
Wilson had told his widow Lorraine that he had been taking down plastic sheeting in an operation to clear asbestos from the car park under the power station’s administration block.
He originally told her that he had fallen down a manhole. But she told the inquest that she believed her husband had lied because of the extent of the injury.
During a second phone call to his wife, Wilson had admitted lying and said he had been on a scaffolding tower at the time of the incident.
Paul Wilson died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 4 March 2021. He had an operation on his broken right tibia and had contracted Covid while in hospital.
After a short deliberation, the jury forewoman said the accident had been in “unknown circumstances”.
Senior Shropshire Coroner John Ellery said the jury’s conclusion does not indicate civil or criminal liability, just a short conclusion of what occurred.
DemolitionNews reached out to Demolition Services Limited, the company that employed Paul Wilson. The company kindly sent us a statement that says:
“It was reported that around 8.20am on 14th February 2021, that an asbestos operative had injured his leg, working at ground level and whilst de-sheeting one of the final asbestos enclosures, concluding, the asbestos removal works at Ironbridge Power Station.
The operative was subsequently taken to Shrewsbury General Hospital and the company commenced an internal investigation.
Unfortunately, Mr Wilson developed Covid-19 shortly after being admitted into hospital and his condition deteriorated before he sadly passed away on 4th March 2021 as a result of a pulmonary embolism.
The company was later subject to an independent HSE investigation which was unable to identify either the cause of the accident or any breaches in Health and Safety Legislation.
The inquest into Mr Wilson’s death was concluded earlier this week although, similarly the jury were unable to identify the cause of the accident.
Demolition Services continue to nurture a culture of proactive hazard identification, continuous improvement and learning.
The company are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Wilson and thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”