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Letter to the Editor: Use Caution at Recycling Depot

‘My wife suffered painful injuries to her hip and dominant hand resulting from a fall off a yellow, metal stool at the recycling depot.’

In March of this year, my wife suffered painful injuries to her hip and dominant hand resulting from a fall off a yellow, metal stool at the recycling depot provided by Regional District Central Kootenay (RDCK).

Facility users should be aware that the stools had a warning sticker on their side, not readable to anyone standing-up. To see the warning, one would have to crouch down to see:

“For your safety, follow these instructions: Inspect prior to use for damage, wear, or deterioration. Never climb a ladder that is not in good condition. Use only on a firm level surface. Do not climb unless you have read additional instructions provided and have been instructed in proper use. Clean shoes prior to ascending. Do not overload. Overreaching could result in a fall. Descend and relocate closer to work.”

There are no warning signs or instructions posted on the site.

My wife’s fall occurred because the blue bin was overfull. When she stepped up on the stool to put paper in the bin, some of it slid out. She reached back to retrieve the fallen paper, and her foot left the stool causing her to fall backwards, hand outstretched, on the irregular gravel and asphalt surface. She suffered bruising to her hip and broke a bone in her hand. She required an ambulance to get to the hospital. She still has hip pain and remains under medical care in an effort to heal or repair her hand.

Facility users need to be aware of the danger of falling while using the stools in question. They also need to know that, despite being aware of my wife’s injuries and how they occurred, RDCK has chosen not to post any warnings nor take any precautionary action to prevent falls, e.g. installation of hand holds, guarded decks, or ladders with handrails.

Just be careful. For safety’s sake!

James Posynick, Creston

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