A UK health and safety instructor has been suspended after wrongly demonstrating the use of a ladder — and falling off. Paul Kavanagh was teaching a group of workers how to use the gadget when working alone but ignored his own rules.

He first climbed up without a hard hat and had to be thrown one by a colleague. He then kept taking his hands off while standing on a rung and lost his grip before eventually toppling into a neighbouring garden.

Mr Kavanagh, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has been suspended by employer Morrison Facility Services. The firm, a sub-contractor of Gateshead Housing Company, also issued a statement of reassurance to worried customers.

It said: “Morrison takes the safety of our staff and the public extremely seriously and we are sorry that one of our employees appears to have been demonstrating the use of a ladder system incorrectly. We would like to reassure all of our customers that our health and safety controls are robust and that this incident does not in any way reflect our usual operations.”

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