Mr B, of Bishop Auckland, was a steel erector, working on a construction site at Luton College at the time of the accident. He was working on a scissor lift, laying floor plates on the steel he and his colleagues had just erected for the next floor of the building. The plates were being sent into position using a magnet on a crane. They were dropped into position and Mr B had started to bolt them in place. When the next plate came around, he heard one of his colleagues shout and as he looked up, he saw the metal plate that was on the magnet around 21 metres above him, fall. He tried to get out of the way, but the metal plate hit him, impacting his back and shoulder.
Hospital treatment after workplace accident
With adrenalin rushing through his body, Mr B got down from the scissor lift and sat on the floor. His employer’s first aiders attended him, and an ambulance and paramedic attended. He was taken to Luton & Dunstable University Hospital where a CT scan revealed displaced fractures of two of his vertebrae. He was in severe pain and was kept in hospital overnight.
The accident was reported to his employer and to HSE.
No longer to do usual work after workplace accident
Mr B had to take 12 months off work to recover and he is now unable to lift or stand for prolonged periods. Before his accident, he was fully active and was physically fit. He had expected his recovery to take around 24 months, but it has taken longer, and he is no longer able to work as a steel erector, which was his specialist field and in which he made a good living. He has had to return to work as a fork lift truck driver, with reduced physical activities and reduced wages. He misses his work as he gained a great deal of friendship from within it. Not working with his colleagues has had an adverse effect on his mental health and he has been clinically depressed.
Employer gone into administration
Mr B contacted Graysons to see if was able to claim compensation for the accident, and Mark took up the case. Mark tried to contact Mr B’s employer, Nene Valley Engineering Ltd., but it had gone into administration, so Mark had to get the court’s permission to pursue an insolvent company pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986. Nene Valley did not admit responsibility for the accident and so Mark issued court proceedings. Liability was then admitted. Thereafter the issue was to what degree did the negligent act cause injury and what was the claim worth? The case was settled by way of amicable resolution with damages agreed at £190,000 in an out of court settlement.
If you have had an accident at work and you would like to find out if you can claim compensation, please contact our experts now and we will arrange a free of charge meeting in which we can discuss your case. You can also find out about accidents at work on our web pages.
Author: Mark Fisher, partner.