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Home > News > Personal Injury News

3rd September 2007

Rolls Royce Engineer Receives Compensation After Accepted Working Practices Contravene Written Instructions and Risk Assessments


Normally the presence of training, risk assessments and written instructions would indicate a company that tries to minimise the risk of accidents at work, provide a safe working environment for its staff, and takes its liabilities for their safety very seriously. However, when accepted working practices are very different to any written instructions, then the safety of employees is at risk once more.

Our client worked for Rolls Royce. He and his colleagues were individually required to lift two separate engine parts to shoulder height and on to a bench. There they should be fitted together and finally, at this elevated height, further parts would then be added. The Accepted Code of Practice to the manual handling guide diagram, sets out the limits to weights that should be lifted to different heights. The two main parts together weighed 16kgs, clearly exceeding the agreed limits of lifting to shoulder height, as laid down in the written guidelines.

For some time however, the accepted working practice by all employees had been to fit the two parts of the engine together before lifting their combined weight to the bench at shoulder height. Our client weighed only eight stone and was five foot six inches tall. On one occasion as he lifted the combined weight of 16kgs, he injured his shoulder.

The Judge found for our client in that the working practice accepted by the employer, was different to the written instructions. By accepting these changes without carrying out further risk assessments, the defendants were liable for the resulting injury at work. Further, the Judge found that reducing the height of the table would have reduced the risk. The defendants would have known this had they carried out further risk assessments on the actual working practices of their employees. After this accident at work, the benches were lowered so that the lift was not so high or so difficult.

Compensation Claim

Should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you. We have extensive experience in all types of accident at work claims, whether it was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause.

Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. If you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible.

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