A FATHER-OF-THREE paralysed from the chest down by an industrial accident in 2007 has told of the pain he has endured every day since the incident.
Stephen Rizzotti attended Chester Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) where Shell UK Oil Products Ltd, Dalprop Ltd (formerly SG Blair and Co Ltd) and Hertel UK Ltd were due to be sentenced, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing, of failing to ensure a lifting operation was carried out in a safe manner.
The case, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, was adjourned for sentencing on December 21.
On February 9, 2007, contractor Mr Rizzotti, of Runcorn, suffered a broken back, two broken legs, a broken pelvis, ribs and shoulders and also lost five teeth after a basket filled with 500kg of waste fell 30ft on to him during the planned shutdown on the cat cracker regenerator vessel, at the Stanlow plant.
Speaking outside court Mr Rizzotti, 40, said: “The main thing I want is to ensure it won’t happen again.”
Mr Rizzotti, who used to coach Helsby U15 boys in the Ellesmere Port league and an U12 girls team in Liverpool, has three children, Josh, 17, Emily, 13, and Lucy, 10.
He said: “Before the accident we had a really happy life, now things are different.
“I used to coach kids football teams and always used to be out and about taking the dogs for a walk. I led an outdoor life.
“Since the accident I’ve not had a day without pain. I’ve had to adapt to do everything. I’m never going to be able to walk again.”
Mr Rizzotti’s wife Jayne said: “The accident has devastated all our lives. Now we have to deal with it again when we come back to court. We just want to move on and start a new life.”
In a statement released by Shell, Stanlow general manager Frank Willsdon said: “Our utmost sympathy goes out to Mr Rizzotti and his family.
“This was a tragic accident in which our systems failed to provide a safe working environment for Mr Rizzotti on the day in question.
“Following the incident, Shell co-operated fully with the HSE and we have taken steps to improve our way of working to prevent a recurrence.”
Adjourning the case Judge Roger Dutton said: “It is a very serious case with grave injuries.”