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UK Workplace Injury Claims

In the UK, workplace injury claims enable you to recover compensation when you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of your employer. Claims for workplace injury compensation in the UK are not limited to employees who sustain an injury in a workplace accident, as many occupational illnesses develop over a period of time. To establish whether you have UK workplace injury claims for compensation which are worth your while to pursue, speak with a solicitor on our freephone injury claims advice service.

Road Worker Injury Claim Strengthened by HSE Prosecution

April 17, 2017

A road worker injury claim, made by a man now paralysed from the waist down, has been strengthened by a successful HSE prosecution against his employer.

On May 23rd 2014, Mark Durrant was one of three men tasked with connecting gas pipes – each weighing 440kg – along a stretch of road in Strood, Kent. Each section of pipe was lifted into place by an excavator and propped across a piece of timber straddling the top of the 1.38 metre-deep trench until the men were ready to connect it.

While Mark was getting himself into position to connect the next section of gas pipe, the timber supporting the pipe snapped. The pipe fell onto Mark´s back, tearing his spinal cord, shattering two lower vertebrae and fracturing two ribs. Mark was taken to hospital, where he underwent eight hours of surgery, but is now permanently paralysed.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the accident and found the system of work used on the site was unsafe. It prosecuted Mark´s employer of seven years – Forefront Utilities Ltd – with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The gas installation denied liability for Mark´s injury, and claimed the system of work was common within the company.

Mark made a road worker injury claim against Forefront Utilities Ltd, seeking compensation for his injuries. The strength of his claim improved last week when Maidstone Crown Court found Forefront Utilities Ltd guilty of failing to discharge its duty of care and fined the company £200,000 plus costs of £56,686. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrew Cousins said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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Claim for a Slip and Fall Injury in McDonalds Settled Out of Court

April 12, 2017

A woman´s claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds has been settled out of court three years after the former employee´s accident.

In the summer of 2014, Libby Gifford (20) was working as a catering assistant at the Rush Green branch of McDonalds in Hertfordshire, when she slipped and fell on a wet floor – landing on her back and sustaining an injury to her coccyx.

Libby´s injury prevented her from working, disturbed her sleep and made it impossible for her to sit still for long periods. She sought medical attention and underwent a course of physiotherapy, after which she approached her branch manager to ask about compensation.

The branch manager refused to consider Libby´s request, so she sought legal advice from a solicitor and made a formal claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds. In her claim, Libby alleged that McDonalds had been negligent by failing to place signs on or by the wet floor warning of the hazard.

McDonalds denied liability for Libby´s injury, but her solicitor pursued the claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds. Now, three years after Libby´s accident, the restaurant chain has agreed to a £2,500 out of court compensation settlement without an admission of liability.

Speaking with her local paper after the claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds had been resolved, Libby – who now lives in Nottinghamshire – said:

“I am really happy that this is all over and I have the compensation that I deserve. I slipped and fell straight on my backside and it was quite embarrassing as everyone started laughing. After it happened there wasn’t any pain initially but then my back seized up and it hurt to sit still for long periods. It has taken a while but I am glad an agreement could be reached.”

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Widow to Donate Mesothelioma Compensation Settlement

April 11, 2017

The widow of a man who died from asbestos-related cancer is donating her mesothelioma compensation settlement to the hospice that cared for her husband.

Barry Dempsey from Scarborough in Yorkshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in June 2015. He died from the condition the following April aged 75 and, prior to his death, Barry instructed solicitors to investigate how he came into contact with the asbestos responsible for his illness.

His solicitors discovered that, during the five years he worked as an apprentice electrician at ICI, he was exposed to asbestos dust due to the poor condition of asbestos lagging around boilers and pipework. Despite Barry´s passing, his widow pursued a claim for compensation against ICI´s formers insurers.

In the claim for a mesothelioma compensation settlement, Barry´s widow – Patricia – alleged that ICI did not take reasonable steps to prevent Barry inhaling deadly asbestos dust, even though the company was aware of the risks from asbestos and that asbestos was present in the workplace.

After a period of negotiation, ICI´s former insurers agreed to a mesothelioma compensation settlement, which Patricia – Barry´s wife of 52 years and mother to their three children – has said she will donate to the hospice that provided a care at home service during the final days of Barry´s life.

Speaking with her local newspaper, Patricia said: “Barry’s death has been difficult for us all to come to terms with and one of the primary reasons for taking legal action was to recoup the cost of care provided to him by the staff at St. Catherine’s Hospice.

“All of us have at some time been touched by a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with a type of cancer and we have seen the amazing job the dedicated staff at St. Catherine’s do to make people as comfortable as possible in their final days.”

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Builder Settles Claim for a Digger Accident on a Farm

April 3, 2017

A construction worker has settled his claim for a digger accident on a farm for a six-figure sum after his employer acknowledged health and safety failings.

The accident occurred on a farm near Tiverton in Devon, when a digger being operated by James Redwood (31) began to topple over as James was preparing groundworks for a construction project. James tried to jump to safety from the cab of the digger, but it fell on top of him – crushing his left leg.

James was taken to hospital, where doctors attempted to repair the broken bones in his leg with metal frames and pins. James underwent ultrasound treatment and a bone graft but, the when the bones in his leg failed to knit, doctors had no option but to amputate the leg below the knee.

After a lengthy period of rehabilitation – during which time he was fitted with a prosthetic leg – James sought legal advice and made a claim for a digger accident on a farm on the grounds his employer had failed to provide adequate safety equipment or conduct a risk assignment before assigning James the task.

After a period of negation, the claim for a digger accident on a farm was settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum. James told his local newspaper the settlement would help him start a property development and renovation company and allow him to get a special prosthetic leg that would enable him to continue his hobby of running.

With regard to his claim for a digger accident on a farm, James said: “I’m feeling positive about the future and hope that new and improved prosthetics will allow me to have greater mobility, not just for work but for general day-to-day activities and running”. He added: “I wish that they’d taken health and safety more seriously because, if they had, I wouldn’t be relying on prosthetics now.”

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Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claim Resolved for Former Engineer

March 31, 2017

An engineer, who previously worked on the production line at an MG Rover factory, has resolved his noise induced hearing loss claim for a four-figure sum.

Between 1970 and 1985, Dewi Thomas (67) from Llanelli in Carmarthenshire worked as line feeder in the plastic department of the local MG Rover factory. His role included feeding material into around thirty powerful and noisy plastic moulding machines.

In 2004, Dewi sought medical advice as he was experiencing difficulty understanding what people were saying in noisy environments and had started lip reading in order to take part in conversations. He was diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

As the only time he had ever been exposed to high levels of noise was while working at the MG Rover factory, Dewi sought legal advice and made a noise induced hearing loss claim against the company´s insurers.

Liability was admitted, and a four figure settlement of Dewi´s noise induced hearing loss claim was agree to compensate him for his injury and contribute towards the cost of his hearing aids. After the claim had been resolved, Dewi said:

“While I’m delighted to have secured the settlement, I know that nothing will ever change what has happened to me. I would urge all employers to always ensure they are providing their workers with adequate hearing protection and taking steps to prevent anyone else facing what I’ve been through.”

Dewi´s noise induced hearing loss claim was the result of prolonged exposure to a noisy environment without adequate hearing protection. However workers in all industries can suffer noise induced hearing loss caused by a one-time exposure to a sudden or intense “impulse” sound.

If you have been diagnosed with a hearing problem that may be attributable to lack of hearing protection in the workplace, it may be worth your while to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a solicitor to determine whether you also may be eligible to make a noise induced hearing loss claim.

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Butcher Settles Leptospirosis Compensation Claim

March 24, 2017

A butcher has settled his leptospirosis compensation claim for an undisclosed figure after solicitors reached an agreement with the man´s former employer.

In August 2012, the fifty-nine year old butcher sought advice from his GP after experiencing a range of symptoms including fever, severe headaches, pains in his eyes and across his body. Tests revealed the butcher was suffering from a leptospirosis infection and, although he was successfully treated for the infection, he stills suffers from fatigue and continues to experience headaches.

Since 2003, the man had been Head Butcher for Ragley Estate Meat in Redditch, and his duties had included transporting livestock for slaughter and subsequently cleaning the trailers of faeces and urine. During this time, the man had never been warned of the risks he was exposed to by working with live animals or provided with any personal protective equipment.

Once his symptoms had been diagnosed, the infection was reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as is required by law. The HSE conducted an investigation, following which more information was provided to the other employees on the state. The butcher unfortunately was unable to return to his position full-time due to his post-infection symptoms and, in 2013, he took voluntary redundancy.

The man subsequently sought legal advice about his former employer´s failure to warn him of the risks of his job and failure to provide personal protective equipment. He subsequently made a leptospirosis compensation claim against Ragley Estate Meat, which was recently settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum. Speaking after the settlement of his leptospirosis compensation claim, the man said:

“While nothing is going to change the health problems I have had over the past few years, I hope this settlement will allow me to look to a brighter future. It is also vital that my story encourages farming businesses to ensure they are doing everything they can to protect workers from leptospirosis and other related illnesses.”

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Magistrates Issue Fines for Avoidable Demolition Site Accident

March 18, 2017

Manchester Magistrates have issued fines totalling £15,300 for safety failings that led to a demolition site accident and serious injuries to an employee.

In August 2014, two employees of Access Flooring Specialists Ltd were demolishing a concrete block wall at the Manchester building formerly known as Portland Tower. One of the men started cutting into the wall at the half way point, until the second employee took over and continued from the top of the wall, using step ladders for access.

Unfortunately, as the second man – a 53-year-old father of two from Salford – continued demolishing the wall, the top half of the wall collapsed, knocking him from the stepladder and landing on top of him. He was taken to hospital with a fractured neck and back injuries, where he remained for three months. He has been unable to return to work since the demolition site accident.

Inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive investigated the circumstances of the accident and found that no suitable risk assessment had been conducted for the job. IT was also found that the two men had not been given instructions how to complete the job safely, no checks had been made regarding their experience, and they were not provided with suitable personal protective equipment.

Their employer – Access Flooring Specialists Ltd – and the general contractor in charge of the demolition site – Workspace Design and Build Ltd – were prosecuted for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Both companies pleaded guilty and, at Manchester Magistrates Court, were fined £1,300 and £14,000 respectively.

Speaking after the Magistrates hearing, HSE Inspector Laura Moran said: “The risks associated with the demolition of the internal walls at Portland Tower were not properly considered and, as a result, there was no safe system of work in place for the operatives to follow. Together with a lack of adequate supervision, these failings resulted in one man suffering serious and life changing injuries in a demolition site accident, which could have been prevented had the work been properly planned and managed.”

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Company Fined for Fatal Fork Lift Accident at Work

March 10, 2017

A recycling company has been fined by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for health and safety failings that resulted in a fatal fork lift accident at work.

On 4th January 2013, Mohammed Yasin (37) was working at the Recycled Paper UK Ltd factory in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, when the fork lift truck he was driving overturned due to the weight of the load it was carrying. Mohammed was thrown from the cab of the vehicle, and fatally injured when he was hit by the fork lift truck as it overturned.

An inquest into the fatal fork lift accident at work heard that Mohammed had been driving fork lift trucks for almost ten years without ever having taken the required health and safety training course. It was also disclosed it was common practice for fork lift truck drivers not to wear seatbelts, and that the company´s management never insisted upon it.

The inquest jury noted several factors had contributed to the fatal fork lift accident at work – not least that Mohammed had received insufficient training to safely operate the vehicle as a result of Recycled Paper UK´s failed to implement and enforce an adequate health and safety policy. The coroner – Robin Balmain – returned a verdict of accidental death.

An investigation into the fatal fork lift accident at work by the Health & Safety Executive also found the company failed to have adequate supervision of its drivers and prosecuted Recycled Paper UK Ltd with breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. However, as the company is now in liquidation, Wolverhampton Magistrates Court was only able to impose a nominal £1.00 fine.

Speaking after the Magistrates hearing, HSE inspector Caroline Lane said: “This was an extremely tragic incident which highlights the importance for duty holders to appropriately supervise and train workers to the required standard when operating such machinery.”

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Engineering Company Fined for Chemical Burn Injuries at Work

January 4, 2017

An engineering company has been fined £150,000 by Newcastle Crown Court for health and safety failings that resulted in chemical burn injuries at work.

Earlier this week, judges at Newcastle Crown Court heard that – on 31 July 2014 – two men working on behalf of PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd suffered chemical burn injuries at work while cleaning a pipe system at a site in Cramlington, Northumberland.

The judges were told that a chemical reaction occurred between the Sodium Hydroxide granules they were using and some water, causing the cleaning solution to heat up and create pressure within the hose. The hose detached from its mounting and sprayed both men with the solution.

One of the men suffered life-threatening chemical burn injuries at work – his back, buttocks, arms, leg, and one side of his face being burned by the cleaning solution. The second man also suffered chemical burn injuries at work to his head, neck, back, left arm and behind his right ear.

The HSE investigated the accident and found that an inadequate risk assessment had been conducted. Because of the inadequate risk assessment, the two men had been provided with a hose not suitable for the job and insufficient personal protective equipment.

PSL Worldwide Projects was prosecuted by the HSE for health and safety failings that resulted in chemical burn injuries at work. The company was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Bedlington Magistrates´ Court last November.

Sentencing was referred to Newcastle Crown Court and, at the end of the hearing, the judges fined PSL Worldwide Projects £150,000. HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “If a suitable risk assessment had been undertaken it would have identified that the equipment being used was not right for the chemicals or the work being carried out. All companies who work with high hazard chemicals should learn from this case and ensure that their workers are properly protected.”

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Wilko Accepts Liability for Employee Spine Injury in a Roll Cage Accident

December 13, 2016

One of the country´s largest homeware and household goods retailers has accepted liability for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

In August 2013, twenty-year-old Corisande Collins was badly injured when a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being removed from a lift. The accident, which happened at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko in Leicester, was due to the roll cage being overloaded with paint pots and due to the floor of the lift not stopping level with the landing at the lift entrance.

At the time of the accident, Corisande was a first year student at Northampton University who was working part-time at the store as a customer assistant in order to fund her university studies. The accident left her with a spinal injury that has caused her to be paralysed from the hips down and confined to a wheelchair.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and charged Wilko Retail Ltd with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Leicester Crown Court last week, representatives of the company pled guilty to failings in work practises that resulted in the employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

After being shown X-rays of Corisande´s injury, Judge Ebraham Mooncey heard that Corisande had led an “active outgoing life” prior to the accident. The judge was told that she had just passed her driving test at the time and spent four months in a spinal injuries unit before returning to university to continue her degree eighteen months later.

The judge adjourned the hearing until January for sentencing – at which time a final settlement of compensation for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident will also be agreed. Corisande has already received one interim settlement of compensation from Wilko´s insurers and said after the hearing:

“I never imagined something like this happening to me. Wilko are taking full responsibility for what happened, but this will never make up for the fact I’ve lost the use of my legs and will spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Although my injuries are permanent, they will not stop me from achieving all I want to in life. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the support of my friends and family.”

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Thanet Council Fined for Vibration Injuries to Ground Maintenance Workers

November 28, 2016

Thanet Council has been fined £250,000 for vibration injuries to ground maintenance workers at the council´s cemeteries in Ramsgate and Margate.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the working conditions at the two cemeteries after twelve workers were diagnosed with White Finger Vibration Syndrome and Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome over a nine year period between 2005 and 2014.

The HSE´s investigators found that, until 2014, dozens of the council´s employees were exposed to “unacceptable levels” of vibration caused by repeated and prolonged use of grave digging tools, lawnmowers and other ground maintenance equipment for up to six hours a day.

According to the inspectors´ report, the vibration injuries to ground maintenance workers were attributable to Thanet Council´s failure to conduct a risk assessment or provide training in the safe use of vibrating tools. Forty more employees have now been referred to occupational health to assess their condition.

At Canterbury Crown Court, Judge Heather Norton said she had read reports from some of the affected staff at the Ramsgate and Margate cemeteries, and that they “make very sad reading”. Many are unable to return to work, while the vibration injuries to ground maintenance workers are affecting their home lives as well.

At the hearing to answer the charges of contravening the Control of Vibration at Work Regulation, a representative from Thanet Council read out an “unreserved apology” to the injured employees. In his statement he said the council has undertaken an extensive review of its policies and procedures to ensure this will not happen again.

“We have fundamentally changed our health and safety processes including extensive training and awareness campaigns for staff, as well as appointing a dedicated health and safety officer. With a number of new measures, tighter policies and procedures introduced and working closely with the HSE we are confident we have done all we can to mitigate this risk.”

Despite the apology and the measures taken to mitigate the risk of future vibration injuries to ground maintenance workers, the Court fined the council £250,000 and ordered that it should pay £18,325 in costs.

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Company Fined for Fatal Exposure to Toxic Vapour at Work

November 9, 2016

A chemical company in Grimsby has been fined £3 million for health and safety breaches that led to an employee´s fatal exposure to toxic vapour at work.

Paul Doyley (48) was working beneath a tank containing Titanium Tetrachloride at the Crystal Pigment UK Ltd chemical plant in Grimsby on 5th March 2010, when the chemical came into contact with water and created a chemical reaction. The force of the reaction ruptured the tank, and Paul was showered with corrosive liquid.

Two colleagues rushed to Paul´s assistance but, as the liquid came into contact with air, a further chemical reaction created a cloud of toxic vapour. Paul and one of his rescuers – Ron Ingoldby – were blanketed by the rapidly increasing toxic vapour cloud, both suffering severe lung damage. The second rescuer – Steve Russell – suffered chemical burns.

The toxic vapour cloud continued to expand and blew from the chemical plant across the River Humber – closing shipping lanes in the process. The Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was summoned, and the incident was brought under control after several hours – avoiding a potentially serious incident close to a heavily populated residential area.

Paul was taken to Wakefield´s Pinderfield Hospital, where he received specialist treatment for his chemical burns and exposure to toxic vapour at work. Tragically Paul died from his injuries two weeks later. Ron Ingoldby, the first of his colleagues to come to his aid, has suffered irreversible lung damage and a likely shortening of his life expectancy.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the fatal exposure to toxic vapour at work incident and found that Crystal Pigment UK Ltd had deviated from the normal procedures for the safe management of Titanium Tetrachloride. Inspectors also identified a lack of safety procedures and systems of work to assess and control risk.

The HSE prosecuted Crystal Pigment UK Ltd for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 following a second Titanium Tetrachloride incident in July 2011 in which nobody was injured. The company pleaded guilty to the charges, and a sentencing hearing took place at Hull Crown Court earlier this week.

At the hearing, the court issued fines totalling £3 million for the failures in health and safety that resulted in a fatal exposure to toxic vapour at work. The court also ordered Crystal Pigment UK Ltd to pay £37,868 for the costs associated with bringing the prosecution.

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Council Employee Recovers Compensation for Noise Induced Hearing Loss

October 28, 2016

A former council employee is to receive a five-figure settlement of compensation for noise induced hearing loss after a negotiated settlement of his claim.

For almost thirty-seven years, Alan Pashley (61) worked for Birmingham City Council as an HGV fitter. During that time he was regularly exposed to loud noises due to working with a compressed air gun in order to remove wheels from HGVs to re-align their brakes and clutches.

As a result of being exposed to excessive noise without adequate protection, Alan – from Northfield in Birmingham – has suffered a significant deterioration in his hearing and has developed mild tinnitus. Doctors say that due to his exposure to excessive noise, Alan´s need for hearing aids will be accelerated by ten years.

Alan sought legal advice and claimed compensation for noise induced hearing loss against Birmingham City Council. His former employer admitted liability, and a five-figure settlement of his claim was negotiated. The settlement will contribute towards the cost of the hearing aids he will need for the rest of his life.

Alan, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-six, told his local newspaper: “Poor hearing and tinnitus are extremely difficult and frustrating to deal with and they have a huge impact on my day-to-day life. They affect simple things like following a conversation to hearing the TV.”

“I was really shocked to find out the noise at work caused the hearing loss I was suffering and I think it is important that employers do everything they can to prevent people’s hearing being negatively impacted by noisy work environments. The only thing I can hope is that cases like mine are a reminder to improve workplace safety, particularly for people who spend a lot of time in a noisy environment.”

Alan´s solicitor added: “Unfortunately, we regularly see individuals like Alan who was failed by his employers. Companies continue to fail to take the necessary precautions to protect staff from hearing damage as a result of working closely with these tools.”

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Companies Fined after Employee Suffers Workplace Electrocution Injuries

October 26, 2016

Two Norfolk companies have been fined a total of £214,400 for health and safety failings that led to an employee suffering workplace electrocution injuries.

On 29th April 2014, Jonathan Howes was working a drilling rig on Lodge Farm in Felmingham, Norfolk, when the mast of the rig came into contact with an overhead power cables carrying 11kV of electricity. The electricity travelled down the mast and burned Jonathan severely.

Jonathan was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he was treated for his workplace electrocution injuries. He had extensive burns to his scalp, arms, legs and feet, and loss two toes in the accident. He is still recovery from his injuries and has been unable to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority (HSE) found that neither Jonathan´s employers nor the owners of the farm had taken effective precautions to prevent work equipment coming into contact with the overhead power cables during the drilling work in preparation for crop irrigation.

The HSE prosecuted T. W. Page Ltd (Jonathan´s employers) and L. F. Papworth Ltd (the owners of the farm) for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Earlier this week, both companies pleaded guilty to the charges at Norwich Crown Court.

After hearing about Jonathan´s workplace electrocution injuries and the measures that should have been put in place to prevent injury, judges fined T. W. Page Ltd £80,400 with costs of £6,596, and L. F. Papworth Ltd was fined £134,000 with £6,484 costs.

Speaking after the fines had been issued, HSE Inspector Jessica Churchyard said: “This tragic incident has had devastating consequences for Jonathan Howes and his family. “Similar incidents involving overhead power line strikes remain all too common in Great Britain and are almost always entirely avoidable.

“Duty holders planning, organising and carrying out such work must ensure that site-specific risks are identified and controlled. Where hazardous electrical conductors need to be kept live, workers and equipment must be kept at a safe distance from them. Here, no effective precautions were implemented and workers were put at potentially lethal risk with Mr Howes suffering injuries which will affect him for the rest of his life.”

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Mechanic to Claim Compensation for a Garage MoT Pit Accident

October 24, 2016

A car mechanic is making a claim for injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident after his employer pleaded guilty to health and safety failings.

In November 2014, Stuart Currey (34) was cleaning out an MoT pit at the Pye Motors garage in Morecambe, Lancashire, when a Ford Transit van driven by an apprentice ran over him. The apprentice had not seen Stuart working in the pit and dragged him under the van for ten metres before hearing his screams. Colleagues ran to Stuart´s assistance and used jacks to extract him from under the vehicle.

Stuart was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital with fractures to his right shoulder, pelvis, hips, spine and ribs. Stuart remained in hospital for five weeks and nearly two years after the accident he is dependent on crutches or a wheelchair for his mobility. Due to his pelvis and hip injuries, Stuart has one leg shorter than the other, he is still unable to play with his four daughters, and will never be able to work as a car mechanic again.

Following an investigation into the accident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Pye Motors was prosecuted for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Earlier this week, company directors pleaded guilty to the charge at Preston Magistrates Court and, although sentencing has been delayed until next January, the company´s admission of liability will allow Stuart to claim injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident without his claim being contested.

After the hearing, Stuart told news reporters: “The injuries I suffered have had a huge impact on my family too, particularly my daughters. I’m glad Pye Motors has pleaded guilty to the charges brought by the HSE and hope that this is the first step to drawing a line under this traumatic time and that it will allow me to start rebuilding my life and focusing all my efforts on my recovery.”

Stuart´s solicitor confirmed he is claiming injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident against his former employers to fund his ongoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy. “This incident could have been a lot worse” the solicitor said. “We hope it acts as a reminder to employers of the need to take their responsibilities for safety seriously to avoid incidents like this, which have turned Stuart’s life upside down, in the future.”

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Engineer Makes Compensation Claim for a Leg Injury at Work

September 30, 2016

A man, who was seriously injured when a concrete retaining wall fell on him, has made a compensation claim for a leg injury at work against his employers.

On September 26, 2013, seventeen-year-old Connor Watson was assigned to a team working on the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme by his employer DJ Laing (Contracts) Ltd. In order to replace a broken pipe, Connor was asked to remove a letterbox of blocks from under the arch of the former Arbroath to Forfar railway.

Unfortunately, after Connor had removed the fifth block, the concrete wall that was being supported by the letterbox gave way, and its 0.46 tonne weight fell onto his legs. Both of Connor´s legs were crushed in the accident and although he has regained his mobility, it is expected that Connor will suffer from arthritis by the time he is thirty years of age.

An investigation into the accident by the Health and Safety Executive found that DJ Laing had not obtained sufficient information about the structure of the engineering site in order to take reasonable precautions to prevent Connor´s accident. The company was prosecuted for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and fined £32,000 by Forfar Sheriff´s Court in November 2015.

Although he was able to return to work in May 2014 under JD Laing´s “return to work” rehabilitation program, Connor is unable to run and will never be able to play football again. In addition to the permanent scarring on his legs, Connor will likely be disadvantaged in the labour market due to the high risk of him suffering from arthritis.

After seeking legal advice, Connor made a compensation claim for a leg injury at work against his employers. Connor´s solicitor told the Forfar Evening Post that, as negligence has already been established, the only issue that needs to be resolved is how much compensation his client is entitled to for the extent of his injuries, his past and future loss of income and loss of future pension income.

David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, said: “I confirm that Connor is currently employed by DJ Laing (Contracts) Limited and was involved in a serious accident on one of our civil engineering sites in September 2013. Connor is currently undertaking a return to work rehabilitation programme and the matter of compensation is being dealt with by our insurance company.”

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Company Fined £1 Million for Fatal Crush Accident at Work

September 19, 2016

A manufacturing company has been fined £1 million for a fatal crush accident at work after multiple failings in the system of work were identified.

On April 30, 2015, Colin Reddish (48) was part of a team involved in moving a large milling machine at the Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd factory in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The machine had been lifted using jacks, and placed onto skates so that Colin could access securing bolts and cut through them with an angle grinder.

As Colin started cutting through the securing bolts, the milling machine overturned and crushed him. Despite attempts to rescue him by his work colleagues and an ambulance crew, Colin died at the scene of the accident.

An investigation into the fatal crush accident at work was launched by Lincolnshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive. It was found that the manufacturing company had not ensured workers involved in lifting and moving the machine were sufficiently trained or had the right experience for carrying out such a potentially dangerous task. It was also discovered that the task had not been adequately planned and that the machine´s centre of gravity had not been assessed.

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was prosecuted for breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Health and Safety of Work Act 1974. The company pleaded guilty to the charges at Lincoln Magistrates´ Court and were fined £1 million for the fatal crush accident at work, plus ordered to pay £6,311 costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the Magistrates´ hearing, HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “Colin Reddish’s death was entirely preventable. Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd had already tried unsuccessfully to lift the machine using a fork lift truck but instead of learning from this failure they carried on. Their ad hoc approach to managing dangerous tasks resulted in one of their workers losing his life”.

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PSNI Officers Awarded Compensation for Workplace Hearing Loss

September 12, 2016

Between October 2013 and October 2015, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) paid out £11.9 million compensation for workplace hearing loss.

The substantial amount of compensation for workplace hearing loss relates to 2,415 claims made by current and former PSNI officers for a variety of injuries ranging from tinnitus to partial deafness. However, according to the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, there are still thousands of claims waiting to be resolved.

The large number of claims is attributable to the PSNI´s failure to provide adequate hearing protection during weapons training. The amount of compensation for workplace hearing loss is unrelated to thousands of claims made by former RUC officers for noise-induced hearing loss also due to a lack of protective equipment from the 1960s onwards.

The volume of compensation for workplace hearing loss was revealed following a Freedom of Information request made by Sein Feinn MLA and Policing Board member Gerry Kelly. Mr Kelly expressed concern about the “staggering” number of hearing loss claims. However a spokesman for the Police Federation for Northern Ireland was keen to stress that PSNI officers should be treated no differently than other employees injured at work.

“There were deficiencies in the ways in which officers were protected from damage to their hearing”, he said. “These claims come forward because damage has been caused and all officers are awarded is what the courts deem to be appropriate settlements. The average amount of £4,969 reflects the damage that was inflicted on an individual’s hearing.”

A statement from the PSNI’s legal services branch said the service was confident that all claims against the organisation, whether brought by officers or staff or members of the public, were dealt with appropriately. “Legal advice is provided by PSNI’s legal services branch, with advice sought from the Crown Solicitor’s Office and counsel, in appropriate cases,” the statement read.

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Claim for Mesothelioma Cancer against Rothmans Settled Out of Court

August 23, 2016

A claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans, made by a former employee of the cigarette manufacturer, has been settled out of court for a six-figure sum.

In the late 1970s, Valerie Cameron (57) from Darlington in County Durham was employed on the production line at the city´s Rothman´s cigarette factory. While she was employed at the factory, work began on the construction of an extension – work that involved the removal of asbestos lagging from existing pipework.

In May 2015, Valerie was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. It was only when she tried to recall how she might have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres that she remembered the extension work at the cigarette factory. Valerie then sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans.

Rothmans denied its liability – forcing solicitors acting on Valerie´s behalf to take her claim to the High Court. It was only once High Court proceedings had been issued that Rothmans entered into negotiations to settle Valerie´s claim – the parties agreeing to an undisclosed six-figure settlement.

Speaking after her claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans had been resolved, Valerie told her local paper: “I was completely shocked when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma and immediately became worried about my future. I hope that by taking legal action I can some way help to raise awareness of this terrible disease and the problems exposure to asbestos can lead to decades down the line.”

Valerie´s solicitor added: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes significant pain and suffering for victims like Valerie and employers should have been well aware of the dangers it posed to their staff.”

He continued: “Nothing can change Valerie’s diagnosis but after issuing legal proceedings against Rothmans at the High Court we have been able to secure her a settlement that will hopefully enable her to focus on fighting the disease and spending time with her family and friends.”

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School Admits Liability for Employee Fall from Roof Accident

August 12, 2016

The Brentwood School in Essex has been fined £40,000 by Chelmsford Crown Court after admitting liability for an employee fall from roof accident.

In February 2015, sixty-three year old Keith Chandler was one of a team of maintenance engineers that were restoring the Grade II listed Newnum House at the Brentwood School in Essex. On February 17th, Keith used a ladder to climb onto the roof of the bay window he was helping to repair, when he lost his footing and fell 2.6 metres to the ground.

As a result of the employee fall from roof accident, Keith damaged five vertebrae, bruised a kidney and suffered a hairline fracture to his shoulder. Although he was back at work six weeks later, Keith is still unable to lift heavy loads, climb ladders or work at height. His injuries have also affected the enjoyment he gets from playing with his grandchildren.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the employee fall from roof accident an found that there had been a failure to conduct a risk assessment before the job was started, a failure to install guardrails or other protection to prevent employees falling from the roof, and that there was no supervision of the maintenance engineers.

The school´s trust – the Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation – was prosecuted for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 despite having a robust health and safety policy. The HSE´s inspectors said that, although policies existed, they had not been enforced during the restoration of Newnum House.

At this week´s hearing of the Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Charles Gratwicke heard former maintenance manager – Anthony Bridger – admit it was difficult to enforce the school´s policies during the restoration work because the team of maintenance engineers were “old school and just wanted to get on with the job in the easiest way”.

Representatives of the school´s trust acknowledged that the work was not closely supervised and admitted liability for the employee fall from roof accident. Commenting that the outcome could have much graver if Keith had fallen onto his head, Judge Gratwicke fined the school £40,000 and ordered it pay £1,477 costs.

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