Every Year, Clear Answers personal injury solicitors deal with a large number of accident compensation cases. We have included here several injury at work compensation claim cases which we hope will be of interest.
- Breach of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
- Injury At Work Compensation For Defective On/Off Switch
- Assaulted at work after repeated warnings and other violent incidents were ignored
- Laboratory Technician wins compensation for manual handling injury resulting in a back injury
- Civil Servant receives compensation after being injured in accident at work caused by unsafe furniture
- Young man permanently disabled by crush injury to his hand
- Driver injured at work because of unsafe workplace
- Client injured at work whilst carrying out Health & Safety repairs
- Butcher injured at work due to lack of risk assessment
- Man suffers injury at work as he carries out routine safety checks on his work vehicle
- Client burnt his arm in a workplace accident as he supervised a group on board a workboat
Successful injury at work cases
Our client was provided with the use of a company vehicle for the purposes of his work, a 4-wheel drive vehicle with an electrical winch. At the time of his injury at work, he was an overhead linesman and was attempting to use the winch. It was mounted onto the rear of the vehicle and he was attempting to rewind it when it became jammed against the entry rollers.
To try to clear the jam, our client had to guide the winch wire and hook through the rollers by hand. His hand was pulled into the entry roller assembly and he suffered serious injuries to his thumb in this accident at work.
Our client required surgery and grafting to repair the damage caused by this accident at work and although he has recovered full movement, he retains excessive sensitivity at the site of his injury at work. He was also unable to resume work for several months until the repair healed sufficiently.
As the vehicle was provided by his employer solely for the purposes of carrying out his work, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and 1992 applied. His employer, the defendant, was therefore responsible for this accident at work in that he was negligent in not taking adequate measures to prevent access to the roller assembly in the event of it jamming. It was therefore a foreseeable risk that our client would attempt to clear the jam by hand, causing him to be injured at work.
His employer was also negligent in that he had not provided a safe system of working or installed an adequate system of inspection or maintenance of the machinery. Such a system might have detected the fault before the equipment failed whilst in use by our client, causing the accident at work.
The defendant admitted liability for our client’s injury at work and our specialist personal injury lawyers were able to negotiate a settlement of over £11,000 in compensation for this accident at work.
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Despite several previous incidents of workplace accidents, our client suffered terrible injuries in an accident at work, when a machine he was trying to repair, failed to switch off. He asked for help from our specialist personal injury lawyers when he sought to bring an injury at work compensation claim for his permanent work injuries, following this horrific factory accident.
On the day of the factory accident, the machine that our client was working on was known to be prone to jamming and needed the operator to climb down beneath it to remove the scraps causing the jam. The on / off switch should have made sure the machine would not restart. Unexpectedly, the machine began to operate again, trapping him and forcibly dragging him to the ground where he banged his head and knees causing extreme pain and crushing injuries.
Several of his colleagues rushed to his aid, but it was several minutes before they could cut him free of the scraps that were binding him to the machine.
Our client was immediately rushed to his local hospital after this work related accident, where there was concern over his condition. He was admitted and the next day underwent the first of several operations to repair his extensive injuries. This involved the insertion of wires and bolting together of the bones in his leg.
He was in hospital for many weeks as a result of this work related injury, and had to endure many more of non-weight bearing before he was finally able to return to work, although only on light duties. However, no one at his workplace, including the company doctor, examined our client to confirm he was sufficiently recovered from his injuries at work, or to authorise him fit to return to work of the nature he was doing before his work injury.
Although our client tried to work on machines similar to the one which caused his work related injury, but which did not require as much physical intervention, even small amounts of exertion resulted in his knee becoming painful and swelling up. Further operations followed as surgeons continued to try to improve the condition of his knee.
As a result of being injured at work, he has been left with a deformed knee, which has a disfiguring scar at the site of the surgery, and he has been advised that it is probable that he will require further surgery for a knee replacement procedure, sometime in the future.
During his convalescent time, our client has missed several opportunities for promotion and, given that his disabilities will now prove permanent, his injuries at work will continue to render him severely disadvantaged in the open labour market.
It was later confirmed that there had been two previous incidents of the machine starting up when the on / off switch had been applied, and an extremely dangerous situation had been allowed to continue. Since the workplace accident, a safety gate has been fitted so that when this is open, allowing the operative access beneath the machine, the machine will be isolated from the power supply.
The employer, the defendant, admitted liability for this accident at work on the basis that there had been breaches of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (namely Regulations 4, 5 and 11).
Our specialist personal injury solicitors represented this client and were successful in obtaining substantial work injury compensation.
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Having worked for many years as a care professional, our client sought attack at work compensation claim advice from us when she was a victim of work assault. She had suffered an injury at work by a service user who was known to be violent, particularly towards women. The man had previously been a service user at the centre where our client worked, but had been removed following several incidents of workplace violence on other carers and service users.
On the day the attack at work took place, our client had been responsible for taking a group of vulnerable service users to an off-site entertainment centre. She had one colleague to assist her who had only recently joined the team and had no experience of dealing with violent behaviour.
At the centre, the offender was brought by his social worker and left, unsupervised, under the care of our client, an action which had occurred before and about which our client had repeatedly complained to her manager. She had pointed out that she had insufficient training to deal with the service user if he became violent, and that as a woman, she was liable to act as a trigger to violent and unacceptable behaviour towards her or other service users. These warnings had been noted but no action taken.
She had also pointed out to her manager that the assignment of her new colleague was not suitable for external visits, particularly given his inexperience of violent behavioural problems, and knowing that the offender was likely to be present. All of these warnings were also ignored.
Our client was sitting on a stool observing the group when the offender approached her from behind. In an unprovoked assault at work, he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her along the floor, causing a whiplash type injury to her neck. She suffered a soft tissue injury, which caused severe headaches, and restricted movement, which meant she was unable to drive for some time, or carry out household tasks. She underwent extensive treatment to investigate and correct the injury, including X-rays, MRI scan and acupuncture, but still suffers on-going symptoms following this violence at work. She was unable to continue in her chosen profession and her contract was terminated without alternative work being offered by her employer.
The assault at work suffered by our client was entirely predictable, given the set of circumstances, which were allowed to continue without adequate training being provided, or risk assessments being carried out and upheld.
Several changes in working practices were subsequently introduced by the defendants, which would have prevented this assault at work. The defendants, our client’s employer, refused to admit liability throughout the claim process, and their insurers refused to negotiate a settlement. It was therefore necessary for our specialist personal injury solicitors to issue proceedings.
However, a short time before the trial date, the defendants eventually conceded liability and we were able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement of £25,000 in this assault at work compensation claim.
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In the run-up to a major refurbishment at the laboratories where she worked, our client was asked to help pack-up the equipment and clear the rooms. Although ample time had been allotted for the packing to take place, no storage space was allocated until a week before the move. This meant the majority of the packing and moving had to be done under pressure to complete the clearing before the refurbishment began.
In addition to packing the laboratory equipment, our client was expected to move the boxes into the storage area, located on another floor. Our client managed to locate a trolley but it proved to be unsuitable as it had a rail at the top, restricting access. It therefore required her to lift the boxes over the rail and lower them on to the trolley. It was impossible to lower them over the rail whilst adopting a correct position for lifting heavy objects. She then had to reach over the rail to remove them again.
Many of the boxes were heavy when packed and our client was given no training on manual handling techniques, or advice on the recommended limit for lifting and handling items without lifting aids. Once the boxes were on the trolley, our client had to manoeuvre them through several sets of double doors to get to and from the lift on each floor. After the first day, our client was exhausted and her back was aching. However, by the end of the second day she was suffering considerable pain in her back. During the third day, she was in such pain that she was unable to continue with any lifting but was still required to help push and manoeuvre the loaded trolley. Over the weekend, the pain in her back became worse and she was unable to return to work for several months.
As a result of her injury at work, our client was initially in considerable pain and could not drive. She had to have help with heavy shopping and gardening and had difficulty with bending or lifting. She was unable to stand for long, or walk for more than a few minutes. After seeking medical advice, our client was diagnosed as having sustained a soft tissue injury resulting in mechanical lower back pain. She had to undergo an extensive course of physiotherapy as well as receiving a steroid injection. Medical advice suggested that her symptoms would considerably improve although because of this manual handling injury she should not undertake employment that was heavy in the future.
Although liability for this manual handling injury was admitted by the defendants, their insurers refused to negotiate a settlement and court proceedings were issued. However, before the trial date, satisfactory terms were agreed and our specialist personal injury solicitors were able to secure £20,000 for our client in compensation for this manual handling claim.
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Civil Servant receives compensation after being injured in accident at work caused by unsafe furniture
Only in his 40’s, our client has effectively been forced to retire early due to his injuries suffered in an accident at work. In the usual course of his work, he went to sit in an office chair, using the arms to steady himself as he lowered himself into it. The chair broke, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the floor. He landed directly onto his back, which immediately caused him pain, though he tried to carry on working. He was due to go on holiday and thought the rest would allow his injury to heal before returning to work.
Although he initially returned to work on light duties, a couple of months after the injury at work, he suffered a setback when he jolted his back, causing him immediate pain. Again, he was unable to work for some weeks but eventually returned on lighter duties and reduced hours, gradually increasing his hours as he felt stronger.
Shortly after his return he suffered a second accident at work when a similar chair also broke, causing him to be jolted and to suffer a jarring injury to his back. The pain was in the same position as before and affected his lower spine. Our client was obviously distressed, as he had been working hard to recover his fitness and return to normal working.
His GP referred him to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who recommended physiotherapy and an MRI scan. Recovery from the injuries sustained in these accidents at work was extremely slow and the physiotherapy sessions were discontinued. Further medical advice recommended an operation, and a fusion procedure on his lower vertebrae was carried out almost a year after the second accident at work. This too proved unsuccessful and further surgery has not been ruled out.
Our client continues to suffer pain and swelling in his back. However, all the medical experts agreed that our client would have suffered from these symptoms within a few years in any event. The accident had brought the symptoms forward. Our client was able to claim compensation for the additional period of suffering caused by the accident.
Eventually, the defendants, although admitting liability for his injury at work, notified our client that his employment was being terminated. The reason of medical ill health was given, as he was permanently unfit for his pre-accident work. His back remains delicate and prone to pain when undertaking any significant physical movement. The expert evidence said that our client will be able to return to lighter work in the future.
Unable to obtain an offer for settlement, our personal injury lawyers issued Court proceedings and were subsequently able to negotiate more than £40,000 in accident compensation for loss and suffering for the additional few years of pain and suffering that were caused by the injury at work.
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Due to staff shortages, our client was working on a process that had recently been reduced from a two-man operation to one. Changing the shaft by raising the rack was a routine procedure. However, no risk assessment had been carried out and no manual handling training had been provided to ensure compliance with workplace safety regulations.
Following the described procedure, he was inserting the bolt into the shaft, which weighed approximately 200lbs, when the shaft fell and landed onto the palm of his hand, causing a serious crushing injury. Taken immediately after the accident at work to hospital, our client underwent an operation under general anaesthetic to repair the tendons in his hand.
For two years following the injury at work, during which time he was unable to work, he had to undergo several more operations, including tendon grafts and a procedure to insert a rod into one of his fingers. Spurred on by his own determination to get back to work, he was eventually successful in securing another position. He will remain at a permanent disadvantage in the future labour market, and given his young age, he worries about his long-term situation. His hand remains sensitive and one of his fingers remains stiff. His hand causes great discomfort in the early mornings and cold weather, particularly when working outside.
The defendant initially denied any liability, but our specialist personal injury solicitors continued to fight hard to secure their acceptance of the majority of liability. At the time of the accident at work, management was in possession of a training video, which showed how to change the racking safely. However, evidence demonstrated that our client could not have seen this or received appropriate manual handling training. Procedures have now been introduced to avoid future injury at work caused by this type of accident.
Issued for trial but settled before the trial date, our solicitors were able to secure over £30,000 in accident at work compensation for our client.
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At the end of his daily shift, our client returned to his depot to leave his van. As he alighted, he suffered an injury at work when he stepped into a pothole, measuring between 2 and 3 inches deep. This threw him off balance and he twisted his leg, causing him to injure his knee and back. Although it was dark, the area had no lighting, and was in a very poor state of repair overall. There were several potholes, as well as manholes that were covered only by plywood. Several complaints regarding the safety of the parking area had already been made to the defendants, both by employees and the Health and Safety representative.
Although he managed to hobble to the office after this accident at work, and then to return home, during the night bruising emerged and his leg became swollen due to fluid build up. As his next shift was a short one, he managed to complete this, but over the weekend the swelling increased. He went to see his GP who signed him off work, anticipating that the rest would resolve the condition. When the swelling did not go down, our client was referred to a specialist. X-rays revealed that he had some damage to his knee that was already present before the accident. However, after the accident he needed knee replacement surgery.
Following the accident at work, our client required the assistance of his wife and son for some routine tasks around the home, including cleaning windows and gardening. He was unable to work for many months, and was then medically retired. Our client was not able to return to his pre-accident employment but, fortunately, he was able to secure another job. As his new position was less well paid, our personal injury lawyers were able to claim the slight difference between his earnings from before and after his accident at work.
Although liability for this accident at work was admitted by the defendants, Court proceedings had to be issued in order to negotiate an appropriate settlement. Our client was found to be already suffering from degenerative changes to his knee, but the injury at work had brought forward his injuries by 5 years. Our client was therefore able to claim for the additional losses and the pain and suffering that he would experience over that 5-year period. Our personal injury lawyers, who specialise in injury at work compensation claims, were able to secure over £14,000 in compensation. Since the workplace accident, the area has been repaired with Tarmac.
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A client asked us to represent him after he had been injured at work. Following an inspection by the Health & Safety Executive our client was instructed to carry out repair works to barriers leading to an emergency exit. The inspection had identified that the barriers had sharp metal edges that would have caused injury if someone had held on to the barrier as they attempted to exit the building via this route.
The instructed method of work was to use an electric hand grinder to smooth down the sharp edges. However, the position of the barriers, close to other immovable machinery, made it impossible for our client to stand in front of the barrier to correctly operate the grinder. Our client therefore had to operate the grinder with one hand only, and as he did so the blade snagged on the metal and caused him to sustain lacerations to his finger.
Investigation of this injury at work showed that no risk assessment had been carried out. This would have shown that the barrier should have been removed to a workshop, allowing the work to be carried out in safety. This would have provided sufficient space to allow the grinder to be used correctly. In addition, personal protective equipment should have been provided to our client to ensure the grinder posed no risk to his person.
The injury in this work related accident caused our client to be absent from work for several days and he was unable to carry out personal and household tasks at home for several weeks. He relied heavily on his family for these tasks and also to drive him to hospital and other appointments as he was unable to drive himself. Although the main injury has subsequently healed, our client is left with scarring and loss of sensation to the injured finger.
The defendants admitted liability, however they argued that our client held some responsibility on the basis that he was very experienced and should not have put himself in the position he did. Despite admitting primary liability, the defendants' insurers refused to put forward a reasonable settlement. Our specialist personal injury lawyers therefore had no alternative but to threaten to issue Court proceedings. The threat of Court proceedings led the other side to offer a settlement, which was accepted by our client.
We were able to secure £4,000 for our client in this injury at work compensation claim. This case demonstrates that it is still possible to make a claim for damages against negligent employers, even when there is some degree of responsibility by the injured party.
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A butcher all his life, our client had been working for the defendants for several years in their meat-processing factory. Some time prior to the accident, the block he was using to work on was ruled worn out and replaced with one considerably heavier. This was unnecessary for the work he was doing. The standard practice to maintain basic cleanliness in the meat industry required the butchers to decontaminate the blocks when the type of meat was changed. This meant carrying the block to an area where they could clean it using a pressure hose. Our client suffered an injury at work as he was lowering the block for cleaning. It slipped from his hands and landed on his foot, causing a crushing injury that will continue to cause him permanent pain.
Although manual handling training had been provided some years before, no risk assessment was carried out at the time he was provided with the heavier block – more than 100% heavier than the previous one. A risk assessment would have identified that the additional weight would require two persons to carry it. In addition, our client and his colleagues were required to wear a rubber glove on one hand and a chainmail gauntlet over a rubber glove on the other. No instructions had ever been issued that they should remove the chainmail gauntlet when cleaning the blocks. The gauntlet did not provide the same level of grip that the rubber gloves provided. The extra weight of the block in this instance, added to this lack of health and safety guidance, caused this accident at work.
After reporting to the works nurse, our client was taken to hospital where he received treatment for this workplace accident, and X-rays were carried out. He was advised at this time that there was no fracture. However, some weeks later, still in considerable pain, he returned to his GP who referred him for further X-rays. A course of physiotherapy was arranged, which gave some relief, but our client was eventually advised that the crushing injury to his foot would always be painful, and that the injury had accelerated existing conditions in his knee.
Although he returned to work after several months, it proved too painful to continue with a job that required excessive standing, and he was unable to continue. Some months after he was injured at work, the defendants terminated his contract. Only a few years short of his retirement, this has put him at a considerable disadvantage in the labour market. His injury at work has affected all areas of his life, as he is unable to stand or walk for long, and unable to carryout simple DIY tasks around the home.
Initially the defendants' insurers would not agree damages in this injury at work compensation claim, and it was therefore necessary to issue Court proceedings. Even though our client was considered at least partially to blame for the manual handling accident, sometime before the trial date, our specialist accident solicitors were able to secure over £40,000 in accident compensation for the failures by the defendants to protect our client from risk of injury.
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Our client asked us to represent him in this injury at work compensation claim after he was injured due to damage caused to his vehicle overnight. Each day, health and safety legislation required him to carry out safety checks on his vehicle before setting off. To do this he had to climb up onto the tractor unit by way of a fixed ladder. As he pulled himself up by the safety handle, and lifted his other foot off the ground, the ladder came away from the vehicle, causing our client to fall heavily to the ground. It was subsequently found that the bracket, fixing the ladder / plate to the chassis, had snapped in half, probably due to an unreported accident during the night.
Although his knee was badly injured and caused him considerable pain, he was able to carry on working for several days after the accident because his vehicle had an automatic transmission. Eventually however, the pain became more severe and he visited his GP. He was signed off work for several weeks and underwent a course of physiotherapy, though he gained no relief from these treatments. Some time after the workplace accident, our client underwent an Arthroscopy and may have to receive further treatments in the future, including possible knee replacement surgery. It was some weeks before he was able to return to work, and again this was only possible because of the automatic transmission on his work vehicle.
Our client was unable to drive his own car, which had a manual transmission, and in order to maintain his independence, he had to change this for an automatic. Most devastating for our client was that after he was injured at work he had to give up participating in his favourite sport of karate. This had been a great love of his life for over 30 years and he often provided coaching to the squad. It caused him great frustration that he could no longer be involved.
Although liability for this injury at work was admitted quite quickly by the defendants, their insurers refused to negotiate an acceptable settlement. It was necessary to commence court proceedings before settlement terms were agreed. Our specialist personal injury solicitors were able to secure over £13,000 for our client in this injury at work compensation claim.
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Whilst at the helm of a workboat, our client was injured at work when he had to reach across to retrieve an item stored on the upper deck. As he did so, his arm passed against the chimney stack of the cabin stove, causing a burn to his forearm. The burn was extremely painful and as his injury healed, it left a very visible scar on his forearm. Although there was some improvement to the scar over time, our client will be left with a permanent reminder of this work related accident.
The position of the stack meant that it had to be passed frequently as passengers moved around the boat. Also, the positioning of the stack close to the boat controls, suggested that it should have been guarded when hot. No risk assessment was carried out prior to the workplace accident, but after the accident, a guard was fitted.
Initially the defendants’ solicitors refused to accept liability, arguing that our client was equally to blame for the accident. Our specialist accident solicitors are committed to fight for our clients to achieve a proper settlement and not just to settle the claim at the first opportunity. They therefore had no alternative but to issue court proceedings. However, before trial, our personal injury lawyers negotiated a settlement of over £1,250 in this injury at work compensation claim.
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If you or a member of your family suffered an injury at work through no fault of your own, contact Clear Answers accident at work solicitors on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisors. Alternatively you may prefer to fill out an online compensation claim form and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.
Visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim, or our gathering information and evidence for details on what to do if you are involved in an accident.
Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury compensation claim, so please seek expert legal advice as soon as you think you may have a valid claim for compensation.
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