One of the things which happened after my accident was obviously the investigation. A size was taken of the balustrade of 870mm by one of the senior investigators (of which there were several people investigating) but it was taken from the top railing to the top of the plinth on which it sat.
The plinth added to the height and this extra 50-75mm was more aligned with sizes taken by others fortunately for me, nevertheless it caused some confusion. The lawyers acting on behalf of the nine defenders in their initial responses to the claims made by my own, suggested that the balustrade was not indeed a balustrade, handrail or roof edge protection at all, it was purely a “decorative sign” which should never have been relied upon because that measurement fell below the regulations and building standards at the time. “Great” we thought, that is not a good defence if they want to go down that road!
We were able to show through illustrative drawing that their misunderstood measurement was taken from top handrail to the top of the plinth on which it sat, further elevating it.
The measurement was somewhere between the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 (which came into force in Sept after the accident) and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992!
Furthermore, there was a photograph (below) showing one of the investigators standing away from the balustrade. In this photograph, you could clearly see it was waist height.
Other photographs showed the original balustrades size by comparison to the wall at either end and the replacement balustrade which is purely for edge protection now, matches that of the original in comparison to that wall and indeed would have to comply with regulations and building standards of today!