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UK Factory Injury Claims

In the UK, factory injury claims for compensation can be made against an employer provided that you have sustained an injury due to the employer´s failure to provide you with a safe environment in which to work. An employer´s responsibilities cover many different areas and, if you are unsure as to whether your injury entitles you to make factory injury claims in the UK, speak with an experienced factory injury claims solicitor on our freephone helpline. Our solicitor will be able to provide you with all the confidential advice you need to make successful factory injury claims in the UK.

Court Issues £3 Million Fine for Workplace Injuries at a Chemical Plant

November 10, 2016

Hull Crown Court has issued fines totalling £3 million for breaches of health and safety regulations that resulted in workplace injuries at a chemical plant.

On March 5, 2010, forty-eight year old Paul Doyley was working at the Crystal Pigment chemical plant in Grimsby, when a build-up of Titanium Tetrachloride within the vessel he was working beneath leaked from its tank, came into contact with water and created a violent explosion.

The explosion ruptured the vessel above Paul´s head, showering him with corrosive liquid. As two colleagues came to his aid, the mixture of the liquid and the air created a toxic vapour cloud, causing Paul and one of his colleagues to sustain internal lung damage.

The toxic vapour cloud expanded quickly and blew from the chemical plant across the River Humber – closing the shipping lanes for a period of time. The Humberside Fire and Rescue Service attended, and the incident was brought under control after several hours.

Paul was taken by ambulance to Wakefield´s Pinderfield Hospital, where he received specialist treatment for his workplace injuries at a chemical plant. Tragically he died from his injuries two weeks later – an inquest into his death recording a narrative verdict.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident and found that Paul´s employers had deviated from the normal procedures for the management of Titanium Tetrachloride. Inspectors also identified a lack of safety procedures and systems of work to assess and control risk.

Crystal Pigment UK Ltd was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 for breaches that resulted in workplace injuries in a chemical plant. The company pleaded guilty to the charges, and a sentencing hearing took place at Hull Crown Court.

After hearing that there had been a second uncontrolled release of a toxic vapour in July 2011 during the cleaning of a redundant vessel, the court issued fines totalling £3 million for the breaches of health and safety regulations that resulted in workplace injuries at a chemical plant and also ordered Crystal Pigment UK Ltd to pay £37,868 in costs.

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Smaller Compensation Claims for Personal Injuries to be Settled Quicker

August 5, 2013

Smaller compensation claims for personal injuries are to be settled quicker following reforms introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act which came into place on 1st August 2013.

The new Civil Procedure Rules governing court action in England and Wales have been amended in order to reduce the time it takes to settle personal injury claims with a value of up to £25,000 when a single party is responsible for an injury occurring and liability is admitted by their insurance company.

Not all compensation claims for personal injuries fall under the new rules – for example, claims for medical negligence still have to go through a lengthy process – but most claims for personal injuries in road traffic accidents, personal injuries sustained in an accident at work and those acquired in a place of public access (public liability claims) should be settled up to three months quicker than previously.

The reforms are being applied to the Ministry of Justice´s “claims portal” – a database on which solicitors register their clients´ claims – and whereas previously insurance companies could take twenty-one days to acknowledge receipt of a solicitor´s “Letter of Claim”, they now have to act within 24 hours.

Furthermore, insurance companies could previously take 90 days before informing a solicitor whether or not they accepted their policyholder´s responsibility for an accident and injury. They are now allowed only 30 days in the case of claims for personal injuries in road traffic accidents and public liability claims, and 40 days when a claimant has suffered an injury at work due to their employer´s negligence.

Should insurance companies fail to adhere to the new regulations, the claim will be removed from the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal and any increase in costs will have to be assumed by the insurance company irrespective of whether they successfully defend the claim or not.

The new rules apply to compensation claims for personal injuries in which an injury has been diagnosed on or after the 1st August, and only apply to injuries sustained in England and Wales that the claimant was not partly responsible for due to their own lack of care. Further exclusions apply to the reforms applied to compensation claims for personal injuries and therefore it is always in your best interests to discuss the nature of your accident and injury with a solicitor at the first moment possible.

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Appeal Court Awards Compensation for a Workers Hand Injury

June 25, 2013

The Court of Session has awarded compensation for a workers hand injury following a successful appeal by an employee of Chivas Brothers – the world-famous whisky manufacturer

Lord Drummond Young at the Court of Session allowed the claim for a workers hand injury after hearing how Carol Kennedy from Dumbarton sustained an injury in October 2009 while working at the Chivas Brother bottling plant at Kilmalid.

Carol had been trying to manoeuvre a trolley laden with bottle caps weighing 380Kg, when the swivelling wheels of the trolley became misaligned and locked. As Carol attempted to pull the cage of the trolley through a narrow space between plant machinery, her hand was crushed between the cage and an autocol machine.

Carol made a claim for a workers hand injury against her employers – who she claimed were in breach of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 – however her case was dismissed by Dumbarton´s Sheriff Court in June 2012.

However, on appeal to the Court of Session, Lord Young found that Carol´s diminutive stature presented a foreseeable risk of injury and that Chivas Brothers were negligent in allowing an employee of 5’ 3” to manoeuvre a trolley through a cramped space when the height of the load prevented her from seeing where she was going.

Lord Young awarded Carol £5,321 compensation for a workers hand injury, stating that Carol could not be criticised for attempting to free the locked wheels of the trolley or for failing to seek the assistance of one of her work colleagues.

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Company Found Responsible for an Employee Accident due to a Lack of Training

May 24, 2013

A mince producing company in Derbyshire has been fined more than £32,000 after being found liable for an employee accident due to a lack of training.  

The accident occurred at the Ilkeston mince producing plant belonging to Loscoe Chilled Foods in November 2011, when a male employee was attempting to remove a piece of meat which was stuck between the blades of a mincing machine.

The employee took off the safety guard stopping access to the blades of the machine even though they had not yet stopped spinning and severed the tip of his left index finger. The injured man was taken to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to reconnect the top of his left index finger.

The employee´s accident and injury was reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR regulations, and a subsequent HSE investigation found that the safety guard protecting the blades on the machine should only have been removed using a specific safety procedure which the employee had not be trained in.

The HSE found Loscoe Chilled Foods responsible for the employee accident due to a lack of training and the company in breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 11 of the provision and Use of Work Equipment Act 1998.

Loscoe Chilled Foods pleaded guilty to being in breach of the regulations at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court and, after hearing that an HSE inspection had previously identified the risk of an employee accident due to a lack of training, the Magistrates fined the company £16,000 for their breach of regulations with a further £16,192 added for costs.

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Claim for a Factory Foot Injury Resolved Out of Court

April 5, 2013

A Sheffield machine operator is to receive £6,500 in compensation after his claim for a factory foot injury was settled out of court by his employers.

Michael Kirby sustained his injury in an accident at the local Ross & Catherall factory at which he worked as a machine operator. The 47-year-old employee was using a scissor clamp to move five feet long alloy bars – as he had been trained to do – when one of the alloy bars fell from the clamp and landed on his left foot.

Although Michael was wearing steel toe-capped boots with a metatarsal guard, the weight of the alloy bar was so great that it fractured two metatarsal bones in his left foot. He was taken to hospital and an aircast boot fitted to his foot. Michael was also provided with crutches in order that he still had limited mobility.

Michael made a report of his factory accident to his employers, after which working practises were changed at Ross & Catherall Limited so that the alloy bars were now manoeuvred with a different type of clamp that had curved interlocking forks to reduce the risk injury to the machine operators.

Michael sought legal advice from his union and made an injury compensation claim for a factory foot injury against his employers on the grounds that he had been trained to move the alloy bars in an unsafe manner, and that no risk assessment had been carried out on the tasks performed by machine operators until after his factory accident.

Ross & Catherall Limited admitted liability for metatarsal bones injury and settled his claim for a factory foot injury for £6,500.

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High Court Phurnacite Workers Claims Upheld

October 24, 2012

More than one hundred employees at the former Phurnacite plant in Abercwmboi in South Wales will be entitled to compensation following a test case at the High Court in which four Phurnacite workers claims were upheld.

The test cases were part of a Group Litigation Order on behalf of 183 former workers of British Coal, who had developed illnesses allegedly due to working at the Abercwmboi site where waste coal was processed into smokeless fuel. The occupation-related illnesses varied from lung cancer and respiratory diseases to skin and bladder cancer, and were caused – according to the claim for Phurnacite workers compensation – from working in conditions which were described in court as the “dirtiest in Europe”.

The Phurnacite workers compensation claims were made against the Department of Energy and Climate Change, who now have liability for claims made against British Coal, and alleged that British Coal had breached its statutory duties for health and safety. It was alleged in the High Court that “dust and fumes to which men were regularly exposed contained substances which were known to be harmful, indeed carcinogenic.”

After listeniong to testimony relating to the working conditions at the plant, Mrs Justice Swift found there was convincing evidence that diseases of the lung, namely Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer could be caused by the dust and fumes produced during the manufacturing process of the Phurnacite briquettes. However, there was not sufficient evidence to connect the instances of skin and bladder cancer to the working environment.

The judge stated in her summing up “I decided that the operators of the plant were in breach of statutory duties owed to their employees throughout the period of its operation. There were many measures that they could have taken to minimise or eliminate altogether the risks to their workforce had they chosen to do so”. Mrs Justice Swift made awards of work injury compensation of between 4,500 pounds and 120,000 pounds to the four successful Phurnacite workers claims.

The judge´s decision not only opens the door for the other qualifying former Phurnacite workers to file claims for compensation, but also for hundreds of other former British Coal employees throughout the country who have developed work-related illnesses due to their working conditions. Settlements of Phurnacite workers injury compensation will be calculated on the extent of the individual´s injury and the consequence the injury has made to the individual´s quality of life.

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Factory Worker Awarded 300,000 Pounds for Hand Injury

February 13, 2011

A factory worker from Kendall, Lancashire, whose hand and arm were crushed in a paper manufacturing machine, has agreed a hand accident compensation settlement of 300,000 pounds.

Wayne Miller, 48, was an employee of James Cropper PLC in June 2008, and had been attempting to repair a paper roller at their premises in Burnside, Lancashire, when part of his left sleeve became caught in the machinery dragging his hand and arm between the rollers.

The accident caused Mr. Miller to sustain friction burns which ripped nerves in his wrist, and left him requiring skin grafts and reconstructive surgery. His injuries have left him with no grip in the affected hand and prevent him from doing any other manual employment.

James Cropper PLC admitted liability for Mr. Miller’s injuries but claimed that the accident happened because Mr. Miller had chosen to work alone in contradiction to the company’s health and safety policy, and that he had also removed guarding from his machine in order to attempt the repair.

The hand accident settlement, which was negotiated out of court, was reduced from the amount initially claimed of 375,000 pounds to 300,000 pounds due to this contributory negligence, and James Cropper PLC have now installed safety guards on all their machinery to prevent a re-occurrence.

The Health and Safety Executive have still to give their final assessment on this accident.

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Welder’s Wins 12,000 Pounds Hearing Damage Compensation

October 25, 2010

A Midlands welder, who suffered 50 per cent hearing loss after prolonged exposure to noise in a manufacturing plant, has been awarded 12,000 pounds hearing damage compensation from his former employer.

Stephen Rothwell (50) of Middlewich, Cheshire, had worked at Henry Smith Constructional Engineering from when he finished school in 1976 until 2003. As part of his duties, he had to weld steel plates in the noisy steel fabrication plant at Winsford, Cheshire.

However, Stephen was never advised that he should have some protection for his hearing, and none was ever provided. Consequently, Stephen developed tinnitus and lost 50 per cent of his hearing – he now must use hearing aids in both ears.

After seeking legal advice, Stephen was tested by audiologists, and a hearing damage compensation claim was made against his former employers. He has now received 12,000 pounds in compensation after Henry Smith Constructional Engineering accepted liability for the hearing damage.

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