Work Injury Claims

Work injury claims enable you to recover compensation when you have been injured in a workplace accident due to the carelessness of an employer or somebody who owed you a duty of care. Claims for work injury compensation should take into account the effect an injury has on your quality of life in addition to any physical pain you have suffered and emotional trauma you may have experienced in the workplace accident; and you should also be able to claim any expenses incurred which are attributable to your work injury in order that you are no worse off financially than if your workplace accident had never occurred. Make sure you receive comprehensive advice about making work injury claims by discussing the circumstances of your accident with an experienced solicitor on our freephone Solicitors Advice Panel.

Car Manufacturer Fined for Production Line Injury

January 24th, 2017 | By injuryclaims

Jaguar Land Rovers has been ordered to pay a £900,000 fine for an accident that occurred at its manufacturing plant.

The accident occurred on the 8th February 2015 when a Range Rover Sport vehicle, one of the cars manufactured on the site, was driven towards the start of the production line. This process is routine, usually happening around forty-eight times an hour at the West Midlands site.

Yet in this case, the vehicle’s driver was covering for an ill co-worker and was not trained for the job in hand. As he was driving, he lost control and drove into the car ahead of him. The impact caused a four-car shunt and another worker on the production line was trapped between the second and third car in the line.

The worker’s leg was completely crushed and was later amputated. Two other people were injured in the pile-up, though their injuries were less severe.

The accident resulted in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The inspectors concluded that Jaguar Land Rover did not ensure the driver of the vehicle was briefed in the procedure of delivering cars to the production line. Additionally, there was no adequate separation of workers and moving vehicles at the site.

The HSE prosecuted Jaguar Land Rovers for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, thereby exposing their employees to unacceptable risk. The case was heard at the Birmingham Crown Court earlier this month, where the company was fined £900,000 for their failures and ordered to pay £900,000 in court costs.

HSE Inspector John Glynn commented that “A worker has been left with life- changing injuries that were completely avoidable, it was only good fortune that prevented this from being a fatal accident. Jaguar Land Rover knew the risks of driving vehicles onto production lines and the possibility of shunt accidents, but failed to protect their workers.”

Retailer Admits Liability in Roll Cage Accident

December 17th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

A large UK retailer has admitted liability for an employee’s spine injury.

The accident occurred in August 2013 when Corisande Collins, a twenty-three-year-old first-year student at Northampton University, was working at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko. However, as she was working, a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being taken out of a lift. The roll cage was overloaded with paint pots at the time.

The accident left Corsande – who was working part-time to fund her studies – with a severe spinal injury. She is now paralysed from the waist down and is reliant on a wheelchair for locomotion.

Wilko Retail Ltd was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and was subsequently charged with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At the hearing, held at the Leicester Crown Court, company representatives admitted their liability in the accident and plead guilty to the charges.

Judge Ebraham Moocey, who oversaw proceedings, was shown X-rays of Corisande’s spine after the accident. He was also told of the effect the injury has on Corisande, who before the accident lead an “active, outgoing life”. She had just passed her driving test and was four months into her course. However, she was able to return to her studies eighteen months after the accident.

The judge adjourned the case until next January, when the final settlement of compensation will be determined. Corisande has been paid one interim settlement of compensation and commented after the hearing that “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.”

School Fined for Employee Injury

August 16th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

A school in Essex has been issued a five-figure fine by the Chelmsford Crown Court after one of their employees sustained severe injuries due to falling from a roof. 

The accident occurred in February 2015 when Keith Chandler, a sixty-three year-old maintenance engineer at the Brentwood School in Essex, was restoring a Grade II listed building. Keith climbed a ladder to reach access the roof such that he could repair a bay window, but he tragically lost his footing and fell 2.6 metres to the ground below. 

The fall caused Keith to damage five vertebrae, bruise a kidney and sustain a fracture to his shoulder. Though Keith returned to work at the school just six weeks after the accident, he is not able to carry out his full range of duties, such as working at a height or carrying heavy loads. His personal life has also been affected, as he can no longer play with his grandchildren. 

An investigation into the circumstances of the accident was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive. It found that no proper risk assessment was conducted, and that there were no guardrails around the building to prevent such accidents. Additionally, there was a lack of adequate supervision of the maintenance engineers. 

The HSE prosecuted the Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. This was in spite of the the school’s comprehensive safety policy – policies the HSE commented were not adequately enforced during restoration. 

Earlier this month, a hearing was conducted at the Chelmsford Crown Court. Judge Charles Gratwicke heard evidence from Anthony Bridger, a former maintenance manager, who said that it was difficult to properly enforce safety regulations during the reconstruction as the school was old “just wanted to get on with the job in the easiest way”.

The school’s trust admitted liability for the accident, conceding that there was a lack of supervision on the site. Judge Gratwicke proceeded to fine the school £40,000 for their negligence. 

Six-Figure Fine for Workplace Accident

July 19th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

The London Borough of Havering have been issued with a £500,000 for failings that lead to the injury of an employee.

On the 2nd March 2015, George Ball was cutting overgrown branches and tree roots for the Borough of Havering council in London. To do this, he was provided with a Sthil cut-off saw, though the blade he was also provided with was not fit for purpose and incompatible with its handle.

When George attempted to saw off a root, the blade quickly became stuck and as he tried to free it he seriously cut his knee. The wound required around sixty stitches and damaged both the ligaments and the cartilage of the joint. The accident prompted an investigation by the Health and Safety Executives, which found that the council did not perform appropriate risk assessment for the exact combination of saw and blade that he was using.

The HSE prosecuted the London Borough of Havering for breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998. The hearing was conducted at the Southwark Crown Court earlier this month, where witnesses testified that, though George had been working for the council for over nineteen years, he had never been required to read a safety manual for any of the equipment that he was using. Vivek D’Cruz, a prosecutor at the hearing, commented that “It wasn’t until after the incident where he sustained the serious injury that he was shown a training video. This video specifically stated that the blade was not to be used on the saw.”

The council proceeded to plead guilty to the charges and were ordered to pay £500,000 in fines for their failings. In addition to this, they are required to pay £8,240 in protection costs.

However, since the announcement of the fine, it has become apparent that the council are considering appealing the decision as they believe that the fine is unduly large:“The fine was one of the first imposed on a local authority under new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, which have significantly increased the likely fines for all health and safety offences. However, the council still considers that the level of fine imposed is high in all the circumstances of the case, and is considering an appeal.”

 

Millennium Stadium Steward Awarded Compensation for a Leg Injury at Work

July 15th, 2015 | By injuryclaims

A steward at Cardiff´s Millennium Stadium has been awarded £5,500 compensation for a leg injury at work following a hearing at Pontypridd County Court.

In November 2013, Mark Day (48) was working as a steward during the Wales v Australia rugby international at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when he tried to prevent a spectator from invading the pitch.

While in the execution of his duties, Mark sustained an Achilles tendon injury that resulted in a significant amount of pain and suffering, and prevented him from enjoying his social pursuit of running with the Caerphilly Runners.

Mark claimed compensation for a leg injury at work against the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) – his employer – who denied their liability for his injury. The WRU contested his claim on the grounds that the soft tissue injury had not prevented Mark from returning to work and therefore he had suffered no loss of income.

The WRU refused to negotiate a settlement of compensation for a leg injury at work, and the case went to Pontypridd County Court, where it was heard by District Judge Bethan Japheth.

At the hearing, Judge Japheth heard Mark testify that he had not taken any time off from work because he could not afford to. Mark´s legal team also testified that being unable to compete in marathons and half-marathons with the Caerphilly Runners had affected his general health and his social life.

Judge Bethan Japheth ruled that although Mark had not lost any income due to his Achilles tendon injury, he had still experienced pain from his injury and suffered a significant loss of amenity. The judge found in Mark´s favour – awarding him £5,500 compensation for a leg injury at work.

Speaking after the judge´s verdict and award of compensation for a leg injury at work, Mark – who still works at the Millennium Stadium as a steward – told the local press: “I’m just glad it’s all over because it has been going on for 18 months. Now I’m just looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in September and October and getting back to business.”

No Agreement in Compensation for Injuries from Forklift Truck Accident

December 22nd, 2014 | By injuryclaims

A claim for compensation for injuries from a forklift truck accident will be heard in the High Court in the New Year after the two parties involved failed to reach agreement on a compensation settlement.

In May 2010, Scott Fewster (40) from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire was working in the Highline Extreme warehouse in Downham when a 40Kg metal frame fell from a forklift truck and knocked him to the floor. Scott sustained head and neck injuries as a result of the accident, as well as soft tissue injuries to both forearms and severe bruising around his body.

Scott was incapacitated for three months after the accident; during which time he was unable to drive and needed assistance to complete day-to-day chores. Between May and August 2010, Scott had three operations on his hands to try to repair the damage to his arms, but he still has reduced sensation in his fingers and often drops things.

After recovering from his injuries, Scott returned to working as a welder for Highline Extreme but was unable to manage with his workload and left his job year later. Scott remained out of work from October 2010 until February 2013, and is now only able to perform light duties for a maximum of 30 hours a week. It is unlikely that Scott will be able to return to heavy manual labour because of his injuries.

After seeking legal advice, Scott made a claim for compensation for injuries from a forklift truck accident – alleging that he still suffers the physical consequences of the accident and experiences occasional headaches, dizzy spells and stiffness in his neck which, in additional to preventing him from working full-time, also affects his leisure pursuits of judo, table tennis and drumming.

In October 2010 Highline Extreme was issued with an Improvement Notice by the Health and Safety Executive to formulate a safe system of work for loading and unloading lorries using a forklift truck. After the notice was issued, the company acknowledged liability for Scott´s injuries, but the two parties have been unable to agree upon a settlement of compensation for injuries from a forklift truck accident.

Consequently, the compensation claim will go to the High Court in London to be resolved – before which Scott will undergo an assessment of his injuries by a consultant neuropsychiatrist to establish the long term effect of his injuries.

NHS Trust Risked Health of Employees for More than a Decade

August 25th, 2014 | By injuryclaims

A court hearing in St Albans has revealed that a Hertfordshire NHS Trust risked the health of its employees for more than a decade.

St Albans Crown Court heard that between April 2000 and December 2011 a team of NHS employees was carrying out minor repairs and maintenance projects on properties at three Hertfordshire Hospitals without being aware that the buildings in which they were working contained asbestos.

Although the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust had identified some of the areas in which asbestos existed at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital, Watford General Hospital and St Albans Hospital, there was no asbestos monitoring plan or management plan in place to indicate to the team where the asbestos existed or how they could protect themselves against exposure to asbestos.

Only when a survey of the three properties was conducted in 2011 did the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust become aware of the scale of the problem, and that asbestos fibres could have been disturbed by their employees. The NHS Trust immediately imposed control measures and alerted the Health Service Executive (HSE) – after the NHS Trust having risked the health of employees for more than a decade.

The HSE prosecuted the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust on four counts of breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and a further breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Trust was fined £55,000 and ordered to pay £34,078 in costs.

According to one of the HSE inspectors who were involved in the prosecution – Sandra Dias – the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust risked the health of employees by failing to adequately manage the risk of asbestos. Ms Dias commented that “as a result, a number of its employees will now have to spend the rest of their lives not knowing whether they have been exposed. We all hope that none will suffer as a result.”

TV Set Worker Injured in Fall from Ladder

May 8th, 2014 | By injuryclaims

A scaffolding firm from Solihull has been fined by Birmingham magistrates after a TV set worker was injured in a fall from a ladder during the construction of the set.

On 25th March 2013, Craig Shakespeare from Birmingham was helping to construct a theatrical set for a television program to be filmed at The Bond Business and Entertainment Centre on Fazeley Street, in Birmingham.

Forty-nine year old Craig he was working at the top of a two metre ladder, where he was attaching support scaffolding to the back of the set. However, as he pulled part of the set towards the support scaffolding to secure it, the set broke in his hand, and Craig started to lose his balance.

Realising that he was about to fall from a height of two metres, Craig jumped from the ladder but landed badly – breaking both heels. Craig is now confined to a wheelchair and has been unable to work since he was injured in the fall from the ladder.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into his accident discovered that Craig´s employers – Swan Scaffolding Contractors Limited, of Knowle, Solihull – had breached the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and prosecuted the company.

The Birmingham Magistrates Court  heard that Swan Scaffolding Contractors had failed to ensure that adequate measures were in place to prevent or mitigate the fall, and that an elevated work platform (such as a cherry picker) or a  tower scaffold should have been provided for Craig.

The court was told that had more suitable equipment than a ladder been used, Craig´s accident and injury could have been avoided. Swan Scaffolding could have no defence – the HSE Inspectors said – against a charge of negligence that caused a worker to be injured in a fall from a ladder.

The scaffolding company pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them by the HSE; and were fined £5,000 for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by the Birmingham Magistrates, ordered to pay a £500 victim surcharge and a further £535 in costs.

Speaking after the Magistrates hearing, HSE inspector Edward Fryer said: “The danger of using ladders should not be underestimated. This is another example of serious injuries being sustained where other access equipment could have been used instead. Last year more than 6,300 employees suffered major injuries after falling from height at work.”

Magistrates Fine Tesco in Supermarket Foot Crush Injury Case

January 2nd, 2014 | By injuryclaims

Supermarket chain Tesco and lift maintenance company Otis have been fined by Southwark Crown Court for their parts in a supermarket foot crush injury case.

Mohammed Ferdous (31) worked at the Victoria Tesco Metro store in London when, on 7th August 2009, he was asked to assist with a fresh food delivery. Mohammed´s role was to wait at the lift entrance in the basement, remove cages of food sent down from the upper level of the store and replace the empty cages back into the lift.

As the second load descended, Mohammed opened the gates of the lift stepped forward to take the cages out of the lift car. Mohammed moved his right foot forward as leverage to remove the cages but inadvertently placed his foot into the gap between the base of the lift car and the lift shaft. Unfortunately the lift car suddenly moved downwards as he was taking the cages out of the lift and his foot was crushed.

Colleagues rushed to Mohammed´s aid and freed his foot after ten minutes; however but his toes had suffered terrible injuries and had to be amputated. Mohammed was unable to return to his job for more than a year after the accident and despite having a prosthesis fitted will never be able to walk normally again.

Mohammed made a compensation claim for a supermarket foot crush injury which was settled out-of-court in 2013 for an undisclosed six-figure amount. However Tesco and lift maintenance company Otis was prosecuted after it was revealed that no maintenance had been conducted on the lift in the nine months preceding the accident.

Both Tesco and Otis were charged with failing to ensure that the lift was properly maintained in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Section 33 (1) (c) and, at Southwark Crown Court, both companies acknowledged their negligence and pleaded guilty. Magistrates fined the two companies £115,000 and £110,000 respectively for their parts in a supermarket foot crush injury case

Westminster City Council’s food, health and safety manager – James Armitage – speaking after the fines had been announced, said that the supermarket foot crush injury suffered by Mohammed would have been avoided if the Tesco and Otis had “collectively ensured that the lift was properly maintained”.

Government Propose Fund to Improve Mesothelioma Compensation Settlements

December 7th, 2013 | By injuryclaims

The Government is proposing to establish a fund that would improve both the speed and value of mesothelioma compensation settlements when former employers cannot be traced.

The Government has announced it is intending to pass a Mesothelioma Bill which will provide financial relief to thousands of former employees, who contracted the fatal cancer after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace, but who have not been able to claim compensation for mesothelioma because their former employers – or the insurance company that provided employee liability insurance – is no longer in business.

It is estimated that 2,400 people die each year from mesothelioma cancer and, because of the time the disease takes to manifest, that number could increase over the next two decades. At present, victims of mesothelioma can make a civil claim for compensation if the former employer/insurance company is still in existence; but many workers, whose former employers are no longer trading, are restricted to an existing Government program which limits how much compensation for mesothelioma each can receive to £20,000.

Under the new proposals, mesothelioma compensation settlements through the Government scheme will increase to 75 percent of the average settlement paid out in civil claims (currently £115,000); although claimants will have to show that they were exposed to asbestos during their employment and that the former employer/insurance company has gone out of business. The process for claiming compensation for mesothelioma cancer will also be speeded up, with a database of previous employer liability insurance policies being set up by the insurance industry.

Announcing the proposed fund for mesothelioma compensation settlements, Mike Penning – the Work and Pensions Minister – said that the fund was a “major breakthrough for the many victims of this terrible disease, who have been failed by successive governments and the insurance industry for decades.” However, the Government proposals have been criticised for not extending the fund to victims of other asbestos-related diseases, and for limiting payments to claimants who have been diagnosed with the disease subsequent to 25th July 2012.

The proposals to introduce faster and more appropriate mesothelioma compensation settlements still have to receive parliamentary approval but, provided that the Mesothelioma Bill is passed, payments of mesothelioma compensation should start in the summer of 2014.


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