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About AmberMagic

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  1. There were 2 locking mechanisms for the ladder: the brackets hold the ladder in position in the roof the locking pin goes through the top ladder into a hole in the bottom ladder and this stops the bottom ladder from sliding down on its own It is the locking pin that was not put in place, which allowed the bottom ladder to slide down as soon as the hatch was opened. When the ladder was open and in a completely upright position (ie perpendicular to the floor) there was actually room for a different ladder to be positioned to allow access to the loft - it would have been a tight fit but it could be done (it was done when the ladder was originally installed).
  2. As I initially mentioned the accident happened the week after the British Gas visit - not 5 months later.
  3. Thanks for the advice. I have just called British Gas and have discovered the following answers: Although he has received priority service from them in the past due to his age, he apparently wasn't on the Priority Services Register - so I've now had him added. My Father did give them permission to access the loft and he actually got the ladder down and set it up for them. They did not ask him any questions pertaining to the ladder, including advice on how to store it. I have managed to located a copy of the Complaints Procedure on the internet so I will be reading that shortly. I have been told by the advisor I spoke to at British Gas that there is no such thing as a Customer Care Policy. He did know what the Risk Assessment was but he did not have the authority to provide it to me, so he has referred it to a superior - by past experience with their call backs I'm not very hopeful of receiving it.
  4. I've never done this before so please bear with me if I provide too little, or too much, information. In December my Parent's hot water cylinder sprung a leak, they had home care with British Gas so called them out. An engineer came that night to drain the tank and another engineer came the next day to do the repair. The work they completed was done, to our limited knowledge, correctly. However, the second engineer failed to store the loft ladder away properly - he failed to insert the locking pin to prevent the ladders from sliding apart. When my Father opened the loft access panel the following week, one of the ladders rapidly descended hitting him in the face before hitting the wall (damages to his person, spectacles, wall, picture,etc). My father is 82 and having had a stroke less than a year prior to this date had no intentions of going into the loft, he was opening the panel for me (as at 5'3" I couldn't reach it). I inspected the ladder and it didn't appear to have been damaged in any way, but the only way I could examine its moorings was to climb the ladder itself to look at the fitting in the loft. Unfortunately, whilst I was climbing the ladder (before I could see where the ladder was fitted) : it buckled and completely collapsed taking me with it. I landed flat on my back on the ladder - luckily I got away with only bruising, a concussion and whiplash (although it damage some items I had on my person). Originally we contacted British Gas to let them know what had happened in the hope of preventing it from happening to someone else who wouldn't be as lucky as I was (the hospital advised I was lucky not to have broken my neck). The attitude of those my Parents' spoke to at British Gas soon changed this opinion. At no point in their communication did British Gas return any telephone calls, and on top of this my Parents' were told that they could only contact the person dealing with their complaint, to whom they were only provided a mobile phone number as a point of contact (my parents are both in their 80's and although they have a mobile it is viewed as for emergencies, which left them calling from a landline at great expense). A letter was supposedly sent but was never received, even when resent (we eventually got it by email). In fact, no one paid any attention to my parents complaint until my Mother asked them what would have happened if it had been their engineer that fell, instead of me. British Gas have now referred this to their legal team, who have stated that my Father is liable for my injury's as he should have gone up the ladder to check it was safe for me to use (even though he is 82 and suffering with balance issues as a result of his stroke). They also state that there were 2 engineers present when the ladder was put away and that they stored it correctly. Firstly, there was only one engineer assigned to the job and present when the ladder was put away - two other engineers did visit the property earlier in the day to deliver parts but neither was in attendance when the ladder was stored away. Additionally, we still have the damaged loft ladder in the garage and, even in its damaged state, when the locking pin is inserted it cannot open on its own. Can anyone provide some advise on where we stand with this as it is making my Parents I'll with the worry.
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