Lancing widow launches campaign for head protection at work

W49802H13  Rosemary and Mike Miles
W49802H13 Rosemary and Mike Miles

A WIDOW whose husband died after a workplace fall has launched a campaign for compulsory head protection for loaders working in all industries.

Rosemary Miles, 65, of Chester Avenue, Lancing, believes her husband Michael would still be alive today if he had been wearing head protection the day he fell from a lorry at Gatwick airport.

Mrs Miles has started a petition which she hopes will save lives.

If the petition gains 100,000 signatures it will stand a chance of being debated in the House of Commons, and could potentially influence UK law.

Mrs Miles said she wanted a law to be introduced making it compulsory for employers to provide head protection for all loaders in all industries, particularly the airline industry.

She said: “My 62-year-old husband was a loader for an airline catering company at Gatwick Airport.

“On 14th May he fell from the back of the lorry from which he would load an aircraft and fell 4ft.

“The final impact of the fall was on the right side of his skull. He bled on the tarmac and was airlifted to Kings College Hospital neurological unit where he underwent emergency brain surgery.

“He died six days later, the day after my 65th birthday.

“No other injuries were found on his body. Had he been wearing an impact protective helmet with chinstrap and curved neck flap he would have survived the fall.

“Such head protection is mandatory in most industries in Scandinavian countries and in UK shipbuilding, but not on UK airports.”

“No other family should have to lose a loved one because they went to work in an industry which has the third highest injury rate in the UK.

“There is a gap in the health and safety at work Act.

“Please sign this petition so that your friend, spouse, partner, son, daughter or adult grandchild is not at risk from doing a day’s work.”

“If this happened to the breadwinner of a younger family they could be made homeless.”

Mrs Miles spoke of the potential cost of similar accidents to social services and health services, and asked: “What is the price of a helmet compared to the price of airlifting someone to hospital?”

The petition can be found at

So far it has gained around 400 signatures.