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Health and safety claim
Claim type: Employers liability
Location: Factory in the Midlands
Accident type: Breach of health and safety, workplace, facial injury
Accident claim value awarded: £10,000
Mr South worked as a maintenance supervisor for the manufacturing industry. His job involved making sure that equipment was working correctly.
On the day of the accident he was going about one of his usual tasks which involved using a grinder. At the back of the factory was a large hopper that waste wood was placed in before being crushed into chippings. A forklift truck was being used to lift the wood into the hopper but it could not quite reach high enough to get it over the side.
Mr South set about cutting down the side of the hopper so that the forklift could drop the wood into the hopper. He unbolted the front of the hopper and took it to the fitting shop where, with a grinder, he started to cut about a foot off the top part of the hopper. He cut a vertical line at one side and then changed the disc on the grinder so that he could make a vertical cut on the other side. As he started to cut the second line, the grinder snagged and shot back into his face. There was no one else working near the fitting shop at the time so no one witnessed the accident.
After the accident, Mr South was taken to the local hospital’s A&E department where a large open wound to his face was cleaned and stitched.
He was absent from work all the following week. He had never been given any formal training or instruction on the safety aspects of his job. Nor had he been given any advice or information about the risks associated with carrying out his job. The equipment he was expected to use was not really suitable for the job and had not been maintained in a good condition. There was nothing to prevent the disc from ejecting from the grinder so anyone using it would have been exposed to risk of injury. Risk assessments had not been carried out that would have highlighted potential hazards and ways of avoiding them. Safety equipment or protective clothing had not been provided to Mr South, however, after the accident, full face visors were made available to staff.
Mr South contacted The Accident Team and discussed his concerns. The Accident Team listened sympathetically and agreed to take on the case on a no win no fee* basis.
There had clearly been a breach in health and safety procedures, particularly:
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Act 1999
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
An appointment was made with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon so that a proper assessment of the injury could be made.
Mr South’s employers admitted liability and made an offer of £6,600, which was well below the expected sum. The Accident Team entered into negotiations with the insurers and after rejecting a further offer of £9,000, the matter was finally settled for £10,000 plus costs.
Mr South was happy with the outcome – not only the amount of compensation he was awarded, but safety in the workplace had also been improved.
How can the Accident Team help you?
The Accident Team has a specialist claims department that can help you if you have been involved in an accident in the work place.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts, simply call us free on Freephone 0800 999 3738 for landlines, or 0330 999 0031 for mobiles, or use our claims form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient for you.
Please note: Names have been changed to protect our client’s privacy. All other details are based on a real event.
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