Is it possible to claim for an injury from splinters in a pallet? Since starting work in a meat processing factory six months ago I have been receiving splinters from the wooden pallets my colleagues and I use to move our products on. While they were a minor hindrance at first, they have become more annoying and some have even become infected, requiring me to pay for a visit to the doctor.
It may be possible to claim for an injury from splinters in a pallet if you can prove that the injuries are being caused by the negligence of your employer. UK law says that employers must exercise a duty of care toward their employees, meaning that they are required to implement constructive measures aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of employees.
While there are no specific rules provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on how the handling and use of pallets should be carried out, the HSE has issued a guidance note on the subject, declaring that a pallet must be above a certain standard — British Standard BS ISO 6780 — in order to be used in the country. If your employer is operating with lower class pallets, it may allow you to claim for processing factory injury compensation.
As mentioned above, a pallet splinter injury claim may be possible if you can prove that your employer has failed in their duty of care toward you. By operating with sub-standard pallets your employer may be in violation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which as well as stating that an employer must show a duty of care toward their employee, says that they must provide all of the necessary equipment and clothing needed by employees to carry out their jobs. If you have not been issued with safety gear — i.e. gloves — which could be used to prevent splinters, you may be able to claim for compensation.
Although they may be irritating, and sometimes become infected as you mentioned, you may have to prove that your injuries are of a sufficient enough degree to warrant compensation.
In order to gain a better understanding of your entitlement to claim compensation and the claims process itself, speak with an experienced personal injury solicitor at the first available opportunity. A solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you are entitled to compensation, how much you may be awarded if you do qualify and what your chances of success for being awarded a claim for an injury from splinters in a pallet are.