My wife developed a terrible scar after getting a shock from the photocopier at work, but her employer says that she is not eligible to claim for being electrocuted by office equipment because the copier is leased from another company. Is he right?
Provided that your wife´s injury was not due to her own lack of care, she should be eligible to claim for being electrocuted by office equipment – although not necessarily from her employer. Although your wife´s employer has a duty of care to provide your wife with a safe environment in which to work, his duty of care is not absolute.
This means that if there was a fault with the photocopier which he had not been previously made aware of, your wife´s employer could hardly been held responsible for her injuries. Instead a claim for being electrocuted by office equipment would be made against the company from which it was leased if a service agreement formed part of the lease arrangement.
If, however, your employer had been informed that the photocopier was faulty, but failed to take it out of service until it had been repaired or replaced, he will be liable for your wife´s injury and against whom an injury claim for being electrocuted by office equipment should be made. Possibly the only way to establish whether he was knowledgeable about the fault would be to ask among your wife´s work colleagues to establish whether any of them had reported the fault to her employer.
If your wife sustained an injury resulting from an electric shock which left her unconscious or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours, her employer should have reported it to the Health and Safety Executive. A solicitor would be able to obtain a copy of that report and determine what reason was given for the accident occurring. That report, or any subsequent HSE investigation, may determine who was liable for your wife´s injury and who compensation for being electrocuted by office equipment should be claimed against.
As it could be in your wife´s best interests to be seen as having legal representation in a claim against her employer, it is recommended that you or your wife speak directly with an office accident claims solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.