UK Factory Accident Injury

In the UK, factory accident injury claims enable you to recover compensation when you have sustained an injury in a factory accident for which you were not to blame. There are many occasions when claims for factory accident injury compensation in the UK are not straightforward and, as no two UK factory accident injury claims are identical, it is always in your best interests to seek professional legal advice. When you have a strong claim for factory accident compensation, most solicitors will offer to represent you on a “No Win, No Fee” basis and it is advisable to contact a factory accident injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity – after you have received treatment for your injuries – in order that the solicitor can start the preparation of your UK factory accident injury claim while evidence of negligence is still fresh.

Vehicle Manufacturer Fined for Negligence

Monday, 23rd January, 2017

One of Britain’s largest vehicle manufacturers has been ordered to pay a £900,000 fine – plus legal costs –  for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The accident occurred on the 8th February 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s West Midlands manufacturing site. One of the vehicles – a Range Rover Sport model – was being driven by an employee towards the start of the production line. This is ordinarily routine, occurring approximately forty-eight times an hour.

However, in this case, the driver of the vehicle was not experienced in the procedure as they were covering a shift for a sick co-worker. When the vehicle approached the production line, its driver lost control and rammed into the car directly ahead of him. This had a domino effect, resulting in a four-car pile-up.

Tragically, another production line worker was caught in between two of the cars. His leg was crushed, and despite emergency medical attention, later had to be amputated. Two other employees were also injured, but to a lesser extent.

The Health Service Executives (HSE) investigated Jaguar Land Rovers after the accident. The HSE inspectors found that the site managers did not ensure that the task of delivering cars to the production line was in the hands of someone familiar with the task. They also concluded that the separation between the workers and the production line was not sufficient to prevent accidents.

The vehicle manufacturers were subsequently prosecuted by the HSE for four different breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. 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 £450,000 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.”

Worker Claims Compensation for Injury in Forklift Accident

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

A former employee of the climbing wall and skatepark manufacturer – Highline Extreme – is having to go to the High Court to resolve a claim for compensation for an injury in a forklift accident that occurred in May 2010.

In May 2010, Scott Fewster from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire was working as a welder for Highline Extreme, when a metal frame weighing 40 kilograms fell from a forklift truck as it was being loaded onto a lorry and struck him.

Scott was knocked to the floor by the weight of the frame and suffered head and neck injuries when he fell. He also sustained severe bruising all over his body and soft tissue injuries to both forearms which required surgery to repair the damage to his nerves.

Forty year old Scott was incapacitated for three months; during which time he was unable to drive or work and needed help to perform everyday tasks. He returned to working for Highline Extreme, but found the workload too demanding and left his job the following October.

Scott remained unemployed until February 2013, and is now only able to perform light duties for a maximum of 30 hours a week. Due to a reduced level of sensation in his arms and hands, It is unlikely that Scott will ever be able to return to heavy manual labour.

After seeking legal advice, Scott made a claim for compensation for an injury in a forklift accident. Highline Extreme acknowledged liability for his injury after being issued with an Improvement Notice by the Health and Safety Executive, but no agreement could be reached on how much compensation Scott was entitled to.

Scott claims that he still suffers from neck pains, stiffness and dizzy spells which prevent him from pursuing his regular hobbies such as drumming, judo and table tennis. Highline Extreme dispute the extent of Scott´s alleged ongoing disability.

An assessment of Scott´s injuries is to be conducted by a consultant neuropsychiatrist, and this will go some way to determining how much compensation for an injury in a forklift accident Scott will receive when his claim is heard at the High Court in London in the New Year.

Court Hears of Employees Injured in a Fire at Work

Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014

Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court has heard how two employees were injured in a fire at work due to their employer failing to conduct a risk assessment and provide them with appropriate training.

On 16th December 2012, Maxibrite works manager Simon Gilbody was alerted to smoke bellowing from the top of a tower on Maxibrite´s coal briquette plant in Llantrisant. After several attempts to control the fire by hosing the tower had failed, Simon and one of his colleagues – Carl Lewis – attempted to open an inspection hatch at the bottom of the tower to release any dust that may be causing an obstruction.

Carl opened the hatch for Simon to look inside; but Simon was immediately showered by hot cinders burning his face, neck and chest. Carl tried to close the inspection hatch, but he too was injured by the hot coals that were cascading from the base of the tower. After attention from the emergency services, Simon was allowed to go home, but Carl was taken to hospital where he received skin grafts for his severe burns.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the accident to discover how the two employees had been injured in a fire at work, and found that Maxibrite had not conducted a risk assessment for the safe working of the rotary drier that started the fire in the tower, had not instructed employees on the procedures to follow in the event of a fire, or providing any training for workers who might be using fire-fighting equipment.

The HSE prosecuted Maxibrite with breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, and at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court the company pleaded guilty to both charges. The Magistrates fined Maxibrite a total of £20,000 and ordered the company to pay £5,115 in costs.

Commenting after the Magistrates´ fine had been announced, HSE inspector Steve Lewis said that Simon and Carl – the two employees injured in the fire at work – could have been killed in this preventable accident; and employers must make sure that staff are informed of the proper procedures to follow should a fire break out in any workplace.

Settlements of Accident Compensation Claims to be Processed Quicker after Changes to Law

Saturday, 3rd August, 2013

Changes introduced on August 1st in accordance with the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) should result in faster settlements of accident compensation claims with a value of less than £25,000.

The changes are intended to reduce the length of time it takes for insurance companies to respond to solicitor´s “Letters of Claim” and have been trialled successfully since April for road traffic accidents with a personal injury compensation value of £10,000 or less.

Now the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal has been extended to cover most types of personal injury claims with an anticipated value of £25,000 or less, and will required that insurance companies acknowledge Letters of Claim within one day of receipt (previously twenty-one days) and accept or deny their policyholder´s liability within 30 days (previously 90 days – insurance companies investigating accidents at work are allowed 40 days to accept or deny liability).

Insurance companies who fail to adhere to the new procedures will have the claim removed from the cost-saving claims portal and will have to absorb any higher costs of defending a claim themselves. The changes should speed up settlements of accident compensation claims and ensure that injured victims of negligence receive the funds they are entitled to in a much shorter timeframe.

Exclusions to the New Claims Procedures

There are a series of exclusions to the new claims procedures, and if the nature of your accident falls into one of the following categories, your claim will fall outside of the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal and settlements of accident compensation claims may take as long as before.

The exclusions include:-

  • Claims in which you may have contributed to the cause of an accident or the extent of your injuries due to your own lack of care
  • Claims for compensation against an individual or any negligent party who is uninsured or insolvent
  • Claims against an employer where two or more negligent parties (i.e. the supplier of a machine)are liable for your injuries
  • Public liability claims in which you have suffered from an avoidable disease due to negligence
  • Claims for medical negligence, mesothelioma cancer or abuse

The changes to the law apply to claims for injuries which have been sustained or diagnosed in England and Wales from August 1st 2013, and should you have any questions regarding how they might affect any settlements of accident compensation claims you are waiting for, you should discuss these with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

Employee to Receive Compensation for a Hand Accident at Work after Successful Appeal

Wednesday, 26th June, 2013

A woman who crushed her hand when it got trapped between a trolley and a bottling machine is to receive compensation for a hand injury at work after a successful appeal of her claim at the Court of Session.

Carol Kennedy from Dumbarton originally made her claim for compensation for a hand accident at work after suffering an injury while working at the Chivas Brothers bottling plant in Kilmalid in October 2009.

As Carol was transporting a trolley laden with 380Kg of bottle caps from the storeroom of the facility to the production line, the wheels of the trolley misaligned and stopped it from moving between the autocol machines.

Carol moved around to the front of the trolley in order to pull it through the narrow space but, as she got the trolley to move again, crushed her hand between the trolley and one of the autocol machines.

After receiving legal advice, Carol made a claim for a hand accident at work on the grounds that Chivas Brothers – her employer – had failed in their duty of care to keep the workplace free from hazards in breach of the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 andManual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

Chivas Brothers denied responsibility for Carol´s injury, and defended her claim by saying that Carol had tried to manoeuvre the trolley in a manner other than how she had been trained and that the 5’ 3” employee should have sought assistance from her work colleagues.

A hearing at the Dumbarton´s Sheriff Court in June 2012 agreed with the defence and Carol´s claim for compensation for a hand accident at work was dismissed. However Carol appealed the decision and, at the Court of Session, Lord Drummond Young found in her favour.

Lord Young stated in his summing up that Carol was less suited to pushing the trolley than taller colleagues as her view would have been obscured by the boxes of bottle caps and “under the circumstances” there was a foreseeable risk of injury which the company should have accounted for in their risk assessment.

Lord Young added that, as there were no external handles on the trolley, Carol could not be criticised for the way in which she attempted to unlock the trolley wheels. He awarded Carol £5,321 in compensation for a hand injury at work.

Factory Worker Receives Broken Metatarsal Accident Compensation

Saturday, 6th April, 2013

A factory worker who broke two bones in his foot after he was incorrectly trained to move alloy bars is to receive £6,500 broken metatarsal accident compensation from his employers.

The accident happened to Michael Kirby (47) from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, who sustained his injury while working as a machine operator for local company Ross & Catherall Limited. Michael had been using a scissor clamp to move five feet long alloy bars, as he had been trained to do, when one of the alloy bars fell from the clamp and landed on his left foot.

Despite wearing steel toe-capped boots with a foot guard, the impact of the alloy bar was so great that it fractured two metatarsal bones in his foot. Michael was taken to hospital straight away, where his foot was fitted with an aircast boot and he was given crutches in order that he still had limited mobility.

After making a report of his accident to his employers, Ross & Catherall Limited changed their working practises so that the alloy bars were placed closer to the vacuum machine into which Michael had been trying to place them, and a different type of clamp with curved interlocking forks was introduced to improve safety to the machine operators.

Michael sought legal advice from his union and made a claim for broken metatarsal accident compensation on the grounds that he had been trained to move the alloy bars in an unsafe way, and that no risk assessment had been carried out until after his accident had happened.

Ross & Catherall Limited admitted liability for Michael´s foot injury and settled his claim for broken metatarsal accident compensation for £6,500.

Accident Injury Claim for Fall from Pallet at Work Resolved Out of Court

Wednesday, 19th December, 2012

A woman, who sustained a substantial ligament injury in a workplace accident, has had her claim for a fall from a pallet resolved in a negotiated settlement.

Katrin Weiss from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, had been asked in early 2011 to cover for a colleague´s sickness and help with the despatch of a delivery from the window frame and door manufacturing company where she worked as an operations manager.

After many of the pallets had been loaded onto the delivery lorry, Katrin attempted to get a bundle of frames and handles which were to be included in the delivery by climbing upon another pallet which had been covered by a board of plywood and which concealed the edges of the pallet.

As she was climbing back down after retrieving the bundle, the 36-year-old slipped on the edge of the pallet and fell – badly twisting one ankle and sustaining a substantial ligament injury to the other. Katrin was taken to Sheffield´s Northern General Hospital where doctors inserted two screws into her ankle.

However, the torn ligaments failed to heal, and Katrin was left immobile until December 2011 when she underwent another operation to insert a metal frame into her ankle joint. Throughout this period, Katrin was in frequent pain and the operation left a five-and-a-half-inch scar on her leg.

After her operation, Katrin sought legal advice and made a claim for falling from a pallet at work on the grounds that she had not been advised of any risks associated with loading the lorry and that no safety training – beyond being told to “be careful” – was provided to her before she started the task.

In addition to being able to claim compensation for her injuries, Katrin was also eligible to recover the income she had lost for the fifteen months she was unable to work and include in her claim for a fall from a pallet at work compensation for the degenerative form of arthritis she is likely to suffer in the future.

Her employers – Bereco Ltd of Rotherham, South Yorkshire – admitted their liability for Katrin´s injuries, and an out-of-court negotiated settlement was agreed that will see Katrin receive £30,000 in injury compensation for falling from a pallet at work.

Welder’s 12,000 Pounds Factory Accident Compensation for Hearing Damage

Saturday, 23rd October, 2010

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

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

However, Stephen was not advised that he should have protection for his hearing, and none was ever provided. As a result, Stephen developed tinnitus and lost 50 per cent of his hearing – he now uses hearing aids in both ears.

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


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