UK Work Accident Injury

In the UK, work accident injury claims enable you to recover compensation when you have sustained an injury in a work accident for which you were not to blame. There are many occasions when claims for work accident injury compensation in the UK are not straightforward and, as no two UK work accident injury claims are identical, it is always in your best interests to seek professional legal advice. When you have a strong claim for work accident compensation, most solicitors will offer to represent you on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, and it is advisable to contact a work 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 work 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.”

Retailer Admits Liability for Employee’s Spinal Injury

Sunday, 18th December, 2016

Wilko Retail Ltd., a nation-wide homeware retailer, has admitted that they were liable for an accident that resulted in an employee’s paralysis.

In August 2013, Corisande Collins – a first-year student at Northampton University – was working at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko. However, during her shift, a roll cage full of paint pots fell on top of her as it emerged from a lift.

As a result of her accident, Corisande – who was working part-time at the retailer to support her studies – is paralysed from the waist down. The twenty-three-year-old is now wheelchair bound.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the retailer and proceeded to prosecute it for four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The case proceeded to the Leicester Crown Court, where company representatives admitted their liability in the accident and plead guilty to the charges.

At the court, Judge Ebraham Moocey was shown X-rays of Corisande’s spine after the accident. Corisande also gave an account of the devastating effect the injury had on her life, commenting that before she was paralysed she lived 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. For now, Corisande has been paid an interim settlement. She 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 Trust Concedes Liability for Employee Injury

Wednesday, 17th August, 2016

An Essex school has admitted their negligence in a case involving an injured maintenance worker.

The accident occurred on the 17th February 2015 at the Brentwood School, Essex – a Grade II listed building undergoing construction work. Keith Chandler, a sixty-three year-old maintenance engineer, was working on the restoration project. He was required to climb onto the roof of the building such that he could repair a bay window, though lost his footing. Keith fell 2.6 metres to the ground.

As a result of the accident, Keith bruised a kidney, fractured his shoulder and damaged five vertebrae. Though able to return to work just six weeks after the accident, he cannot perform as wide a range of duties as before, as he can no longer carry heavy loads or work at heights. Additionally, he can no longer play with his grandchildren.

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) proceeded to carry out an investigation into the circumstances of Keith’s accident. They discovered that there was no adequate risk assessment conducted for the work in which Keith was engaged. Additionally, it concluded that there was a lack of safety apparatus, such a guardrails, on the rood to prevent such an injury, and there were no supervisors on site for the maintenance engineers.

The Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation, who oversee the school’s operation, were prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The HSE noted that the accident occurred in spite of the school’s safety policy, which it said were not properly enforced during the restoration works.

A hearing was held at the Chelmsford Crown Court earlier this month, during which Judge Charles Gratwicke heard evidence from Anthony Bridger, a former maintenance engineer. The witness said that it was hard to adequately enforce health and safety policy at the school as the administration “just wanted to get on with the job in the easiest way”.

The Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation plead guilty to the charges, admitting to the lack of supervision at the site. They were subsequently fined £40,000 for their negligence. School Trust Concedes Liability for Employee Injury

Borough Fined for Employee Work Accident

Thursday, 21st July, 2016

A London council have been issued a fine worth £500,000 for failings that lead to the injury of a maintenance employee.

The accident occurred on the 2nd March 2015 when George Ball, a maintenance employee at the London Borough of Havering, was cutting back trees and roots. To do this, he was provided with a Sthil saw and blade, though the two pieces of equipment were not suited for use together and proved dangerous.

As George was cutting up a root, the blade became stuck in the wood. In an attempt to pull if free, George drew the saw along his knee and caused a very deep cut. The wound required sixty stitches and caused damage to the cartilage and ligaments around the joint. The accident prompted an investigation from the Health and Safety Executives, who determined that there was no adequate risk assessment undertaken for the use of the saw with that particular blade.

The London Borough of Havering was subsequently prosecuted for their failings and the breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Act 1998. Earlier this month, the case was heard in the Southwark Crown Court, where judges were informed that – though George had been employed at the council for nearly twenty years – the council never required their employee to read safety manuals for the tools he was using. As one prosecutor put it,  “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 London Borough of Havering proceeded to plead guilty to their failings. The court then ordered them to pay £500,000 in fines, in addition to £8,240 in protection costs. However, one spokesperson for the council has hinted that the council may consider appealing the decision as they believe that the value of the fine is disproportionately high.

The spokesperson commented that:“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.”

Woman Involved in Fatal Lift Injury Compensated

Friday, 15th January, 2016

A woman who was seriously injured in a lift accident that killed another, has received a five-figure  settlement for her injuries.

On the 6th of March 2006, fifty-two year-old Carol Conway – who was working as a  care worker in Cardiff’s Pontcanna House Care Home – was helping a ninety-six year-old resident to the lifts. The resident, Mrs Lewis, desired to go downstairs to where breakfast was being served.

The two waited at the lifts until a sound rang to indicate that the lift had arrived at their floor. The lift was known to be faulty, Carol used her key to open the door and subsequently reversed into the lift with Mrs Lewis’ wheelchair. However, the lift’s floor had not arrived at the level with the rest of the compartment. Mrs Lewis and Carol fell 6.3 m down the lift shaft to the ground floor.

Mrs Lewis tragically died from the extensive injuries that she had sustained. Carol, though knocked unconscious by the fall, survived, though her injuries included a broken back, fractures to her ribs and feet and a puncture to her leg.

An investigation followed, which uncovered that Sherwin and Naskik Al-Mufti – who owned the care home – had already received a warning that the lift was not functioning correctly. They were advised that it only be used in emergency circumstances, though the owners still allowed their staff to use their emergency access keys on a day-to-day basis to override safety mechanisms.

The owners of the care home were recently fined £75,000 for their negligence regarding health and safety, and after protection by the Health and Safety Executives, told to pay £25,000 in legal fees.

Carol sought legal counsel, and then went on to make her own claim for compensation. Negotiations began between her former employers and Carol’s solicitors which resulted in an undisclosed five figure compensation settlement.
After the announcement of the settlement, Carol stated whilst speaking to her local press that “I was awarded compensation “but money will never change that terrible day. I think about it constantly. My heart goes out to May and her family. I am so sorry she died the way she did – it’s tragic”.

£180,000 Paid in Injury Compensation for Accidents to Teachers in Scotland

Monday, 29th December, 2014

During 2013/14, more than £180,000 in injury compensation for accidents to teachers in Scotland was paid out according to figures released by the Educational Institute of Scotland.

The figures revealed several major settlements of injury compensation for accidents to teachers in Scotland – including a £50,000 settlement for a teacher who suffered head injuries when slipping and falling on an icy playground and a settlement of £25,000 for a teacher who broke his ankle when tripping and falling – and also noted that the majority of injuries were sustained in trip and fall accidents at work.

Larry Flanagan – the General Secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland – commented on the volume of injury compensation for accidents to teachers by saying: “Compensation payments are made because some employers continue to fail to protect their staff from avoidable workplace injuries. These can often be avoided by effective risk assessment and correct adherence to simple health and safety procedures.”

He also attacked insurance companies for failing to acknowledge their policyholders´ liability in such accidents, and said that the total compensation bill could be reduced significantly if the insurance companies admitted liability earlier – thereby avoiding unnecessary medical costs and fees for legal services.

Douglas Chapman issued a statement on behalf of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in which the organisation argued that teaching in Scotland is a safe profession. It was noted in the statement that there are over 50,000 teachers and over 700,000 pupils in school and pre-school in Scotland and, although accidents will occasionally happen – local authorities take the well-being of staff seriously.

During the period in question, it has also become harder for teachers to claim injury compensation for accidents in schools. Changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act mean that teachers have to show that their accidents were due to the negligence of their employer, whereas previously a conviction by the Health and Safety Executive for a breach of Health and Safety regulations would be sufficient for liability to be established in a claim for injury compensation for accidents to teachers.

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.

Dairy Prosecuted for Injuries from a Fall from Height on Farm

Tuesday, 19th August, 2014

A County Durham dairy has been prosecuted by the HSE after an employee sustained injuries from a fall from height on their farm.

Forty-one year old Simon Atkinson from Dipton in County Durham was working at the Lanchester Dairies site on Upper Hill Farm in Durham, and unloading empty milk bottles from a vehicle into an underground storage area, when he slipped and fell through the opening to the storage area and landed heavily on the concrete floor below.

Simon suffered life-changing injuries in the fall from height accident, and had to be put into an induced coma after bleeding within his skull formed into a blood clot alongside his brain. Simon´s other injuries included a fractured eye socket, multiple collar bone fractures and a broken rib, and he is still waiting for an operation to repair damage to his spine.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the September 2013 accident and, because Simon had lost consciousness in the fall, he was unable to tell then whether he had slipped at ground level (a fall of 1.6 metres) or from the tailgate of the vehicle from which he was unloading the milk bottles (a fall of 2.6 metres).

The HSE found that a fixed barrier to prevent injuries from a fall from height on the farm had been placed across the doorway to the storage area, but it had been removed two years prior to Simon´s accident and despite a risk assessment having identified the risk of a fall, no measures had been taken to prevent such an accident.

The HSE prosecuted Lanchester Dairies Ltd for failing to implement a safe system of work and training for the unloading task and, at Peterlee Magistrates Court the company pleaded guilty to offences contrary to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Magistrates fined the company £10,000 and ordered them to pay £1,690 in costs.

HSE Inspector Michael Kingston, speaking after the Magistrates hearing, commented that Lanchester Dairies was aware of the risk of injuries from a fall from height on the farm, but failed to implement inexpensive and simple measures to prevent such an accident from occurring.

Solihull Scaffolding Company in Court over Fall from Ladder Accident

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

A scaffolding company 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.”

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.


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