Category: Accidents at Work

Farm Labourer Injury Claims

Farm Related Injuries

With a fatal injury rate of 7.61 workers per 100,000, working in agriculture a dangerous profession – with statistics showing that it’s six times more dangerous than a career in construction and has a fatality rate that is 18 times higher than the average industry.

A report released by The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) agricultural team has revealed that, in 2016/17, 30 people were killed in agriculture. Sustained injuries from vehicle-related accidents consistently lead to more deaths than any other means, and half of the people whose fatal injuries were caused by something collapsing were also taking part in work involving vehicles and/or machinery.

In addition to these already shocking figures, the HSE also reported a sudden and surprising increase in the number of farm fatalities in February 2017 with 10 deaths in the UK in that month alone, which prompted a call for increased vigilance in and around farmyards.

Farm negligence cases

Some of the farm work required will mean that participating workers and farmers will be carrying out jobs, on some level, in dangerous or hazardous conditions. This may be operating farm machinery and equipment or simply working with farm animals. Though some injuries sustained during farm work cannot be helped, in many cases investigations found that there had not been satisfactory risk assessment carried out, there was not a safe system of work set up or there were no measures to stop workers coming into contact with dangerous parts of machines.

Farm Work Injury and Negligence Compensation

Unfortunately, however careful you are when working on a farm, accidents can happen. Along with the physical and emotional effects of an injury at work, there can also be financial consequences. Time taken off work can impact your wages and, depending on the extent of your injuries, ongoing medical treatment can be expensive.

If you, or your loved one, has sustained an injury whilst working on a farm that wasn’t your fault, Hampson Hughes’ team of expert serious injury lawyers may be able to help. For free, confidential and no obligation advice about care home negligence claims, call us today on 0151 236 1222.

Sources:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/pdf/ag-fatal-1617.pdf

http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/shock-rise-farm-deaths-recorded-february.htm

 

UK Construction Workers at Risk of White Finger

UK Construction Workers at Risk of White Finger

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), also known as white finger, is one of the causes of Raynaud’s phenomenon. The painful syndrome affects the small blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints in the hands, wrists and arms and is a serious risk for UK construction workers.

If you use a hand-held or hand-guided power tool as part of your day job, you may be at risk of developing HAVS, which has permanent effects. White finger is caused by the frequent use of hand-held vibrating and powerful tools such as power drills, chainsaws, sanding tools and pneumatic drills. It may also be caused by holding onto or working with heavy and powerful machinery that vibrates. Even using such equipment for 15 minutes per day can put you at serious risk. According to recent data, 10% of people who use this type of machinery on a daily basis will develop HAVS, which is a serious and disabling condition. (1)

The constant vibration from powerful tools and machinery damages the endothelial cell walls in your hands, wrists and arms, leading to nerve damage. The symptoms of HAVS include pain and numbness in the fingers and arms as well as a reduced ability to move the fingers, especially to carry out fine detailed tasks that require dexterity.

Cold weather can bring on vasoconstriction in HAVS sufferers, causing the person’s fingers to turn white due to lack of blood supply. If the hands are not warmed, they may turn blue when oxygen levels drop. The fingers will turn red as soon as blood rushes back into fingertips, often when the hands are warmed up. This is why UK construction workers are at risk of developing this condition; and, if not prevented, it can cause significant pain and difficulty working outdoors and on building sites.

If you work for a construction company, it is their responsibility to ensure your welfare and health while on site. If you develop numbness or tingling in your arms or fingers and believe you are at risk of developing white finger, you should report this to your employer or contractor immediately. You must take the necessary precautions to prevent further damage, such as limiting the use of powerful vibrating tools and machinery, keeping your hands warm while outdoors, and wearing appropriate safety gear.

In a recent case, Wrexham council, in North Wales, was fined £150,000 after admitting their failure to ensure that all workers using machinery were not affected by hand-arm vibration syndrome. The employees developed white finger after using machinery such as lawn mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers over a period of time. (2)

Another case brought ground engineering contractor, Keller Limited, to court over the diagnosis of HAVS in one of their employees, despite the employee repeatedly flagging his symptoms to the company for over five years. An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found that the company did not have the right systems in place to protect their worker’s health and so they were fined £6,000. (3)

If you have experienced the above symptoms and you believe you have developed hand-arm vibration syndrome, please feel free to contact our team today for free, no obligation, legal advice, on 0151 236 1222 or visit our site for more information.

Sources

  1. https://patient.info/health/hand-arm-vibration-syndrome-leaflet
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-41498675
  3. http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/keller-guilty-of-havs-failings

 

Tennis Elbow and Repetitive Strain Injury Compensation Claims

Tennis Elbow and Repetitive Strain Injury

With Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, shops are getting ready for a huge influx in orders from keen Christmas shoppers and people taking advantage of the low-cost deals on offer.

But though it might be an exciting time of year for some, increased demand means an increased workload for both shop staff and delivery drivers. Unfortunately, this also means an increased risk of injuries such as tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury (RSI).

RSI is the umbrella term we use to describe muscle, nerve and tendon damage that has been caused by overuse or by too many repetitive movements. The most affected areas tend to be the neck and shoulders, wrists and hands and forearms and elbows; which is why the term ‘Tennis Elbow’ is often used to describe the condition.

The symptoms of RSI can include:

  • Tenderness or aching of your upper forearms.
  • Pain or throbbing when lifting or bending your arms, or when twisting your forearm (for example; when turning a door handle or opening a jar.)
  • Cramps or pain when holding smaller objects, such as a pen or mobile phone.
  • Stiffness, weakness or throbbing in the forearms, neck, wrist or hands.
  • Regular tingling or numbness

Long-distance delivery drivers, in particular, are at risk of developing RSI and related conditions, due to the nature of their work. As well as the repetitive nature of driving for long periods at a time, the tasks associated with the job; such as loading and unloading goods, can cause serious neck back and shoulder problems.

Similarly, shop staff are also at risk of developing RSI. Unloading stock, re stacking shelves and rails and constant till use can all cause long term issues – especially during busy periods such as Black Friday and Christmas.

If you are concerned that you are beginning to develop the symptoms of RSI or Tennis Elbow, and you think it could be related to your line of work, it is important that you discuss the problem with your employer or occupational health representative as it may be possible to modify your tasks to improve your symptoms.

However, if you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, or are affecting your ability to do your job to a high standard; you may be eligible to claim for repetitive strain injury compensation.

At Hampson Hughes Solicitors, we understand that claiming against your employer can be unnerving, which is why our friendly team of expert lawyers will walk you through the process step by step.

For free, confidential and no obligation advice about repetitive strain disorder claims, call us today on 0151 236 1222 or visit our website

Sources

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/repetitive-strain-injury/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Hampson Hughes Solicitors comment on #McStrike

On 4th September 2017, McDonald’s staff from two of their restaurants went on strike and around 200 people rallied outside the Houses of Parliament to protest about working conditions and pay. This is the first time that a strike has been held by McDonald’s staff in the UK.

Grassroots political organisation, Momentum, have also released a video to coincide with the action, which includes an interview with two current McDonald’s workers, who are unnamed. The McDonald’s staff featured in the video describe incidents where they, and other colleagues, were injured at work; events which they indicate could have been avoided, had their employer taken appropriate precautions.

As a firm of solicitors, we, unfortunately, know from experience that employers don’t always do enough to protect their workers and we think these stories are deeply worrying.  Judging by the response on social media, there are potentially hundreds of other staff members who have experienced similar avoidable injuries in fast food restaurants across the UK, which is completely unacceptable. We believe that major food outlets should be setting an example to others, rather than taking advantage of staff who are too frightened to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. Equally concerning are the stories about staff being given incorrect medical advice, by supposedly medically trained managers, after being injured at work, which could result in long-term, or even permanent, damage to health.

At Hampson Hughes Solicitors, we think that the strike action this month is just the tip of the iceberg. It shows that these fast food outlet employees are ready to stand up for their right to work in a safe environment, despite the tenuous position that those on zero-hours contracts might feel this action puts them in. It seems that the risk of losing their work hours if they speak out is outweighed by their need to fight for better conditions and pay. We believe it’s only a matter of time before more fast food outlet employees start to speak out about the poor conditions they work under, and we think that legal action from staff who have been injured at work because of employer negligence could quickly follow. This should be a warning to all employers in this industry; employees should not, and will not, allow themselves to be silenced from speaking out and taking action when their working conditions do not keep them safe.

Patrick Mallon, Solicitor & Head of Dept. (Accidents at work), Hampson Hughes Solicitors.

Waste recycling company fined after worker suffers burns

A waste recycling company has been fined after one of its employees sustained severe burns to his face and upper body whilst attempting to dislodge a blockage in an energy-from-waste furnace at the recycling plant.

Accident at Work

On the 17th of October 2014, Teesside Crown Court heard how the worker was seriously scalded by hot ash and water at the Stockton-on-Tees site of SUEZ. After a blockage on one of its lines, the worker opened a hatch on a chute, which gets rid of the burnt waste. He used a metal pole to extricate the blockage and in doing so was exposed to a plume of hot ash and steam which exploded from the hatch causing severe burns to his upper body and face as he tried to escape.

Health and Safety Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found that the company failed to adequately take into account the risk that the workers were being exposed to during this task. Therefore, the system of work they arranged was not sufficient to stop this incident from occurring. The company was also found guilty of not implementing the appropriate systems to manage and supervise the activity of this workplace. This meant the limited measures they had put in place, were not being followed.

Sentencing and fines

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Tees Valley Ltd of SUEZ House Maidenhead Berkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Victoria Wise said following the hearing:

“Problems often occur in production and it is essential that companies recognise and understand them to prevent them happening or introduce engineering controls and systems of work that prevent people being injured.”

The company has today been fined £220,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,695.65.

Accident at work compensation – Expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Engineering firm fined after worker suffers Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

An engineering firm has been fined for failing to control the risk of vibration exposure to employees using hand-guided power tools.

Accident at Work

Manchester and Salford Magistrates heard how Newfield Fabrications Co Ltd (NFCL) failed to adequately control the risk of vibration exposure to their employees. The firm neglected to ensure that its employees were given the essential information and training on the effects of working with vibrating hand tools.

Health and Safety Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation where they established that, at the end of 2015, a welder who worked for the company for a number of years had been given a task that incorporated a considerable amount of grinding and polishing.

The worker began to experience numbness and tingling after doing this task for a number of hours. He asked to swap with another worker but was told to carry on. Although his symptoms continued to progress, his supervisor instructed him to carry on using the vibrating tool.

After a number of weeks, a 20 year old apprentice welder also began to experience and display vibration-related symptoms from using similar tools.

Sentencing and fines

Newfield Fabrications Co Ltd, of Sandbach, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 8(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Helen Jones said:

“This is a case of the company failing to protect workers using vibrating tools. Exposure to hand arm vibration is a well-known risk, which the company failed to adequately control.
The company also failed to ensure workers were looked after when symptoms did arise leading to further exposure. This was wholly inadequate, and led to two employees suffering significant health effects”.

The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,241 costs.

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Company fined after worker gets crushed by machinery

Image of a red mobile elevated platform relating to an accident at work incident

Spectral Colours Limited (SCL) based in Lancashire have been fined after a worker was crushed by a machine.

Accident at Work

On the 30th April of 2014, Manchester Crown Court heard the case of a 57-year old worker who was employed by Spectral Colours Limited (SCL). The worker was cleaning the dispersion mixing machine when he sat on one of the clamping arms. This subsequently collapsed and pinned the worker’s leg underneath the machine. As a result he suffered a fractured ankle and severe crush injuries to his foot.

Health and Safety Investigation

An investigation into the incident was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The investigation concluded that the company failed to secure the machine correctly on site to the ground thus increasing the risk of the machinery toppling and injuring employees.

Sentencing and fines

Spectral Colours Limited of Crawford Street, Rochdale, Lancashire has today pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 20 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The corporation has been fined £3000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,444.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Tim Beaumont said:

“This case highlights the need for all duty holders to ensure all machinery in their workplaces are properly fixed and maintained to the required safety standard.

“If Spectral Colours had been more thorough in ensuring that the installation of the machinery was completed properly then this accident wouldn’t have happened.”

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

North West firm fined as man falls through roof

Image of multiple hard hats in pigeon holes

A welding and metal fabrication company based in the North West has been fined after an employee suffered life changing injuries after falling through a fragile roof.

Workplace Accident

Whilst attempting to carry out minor roof repairs in Salford on 23 February 2016, the employee of John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd fell eight metres through the roof of a timber storage shed.

As a result of the accident at work, the 39-year old man broke his leg, elbow and ribs. He also punctured his lungs and as a result of the incident had to have his spleen removed.

Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found there had been no safety measures taken to prevent workers from falling through or off the roof.

Furthermore, the firm failed to plan the work suitably, and failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the employees were able to safely carry out their duties.

Sentencing and fines

At Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court, John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Jackie Worrall, HSE Inspector, said:

“The injured employee in this case was very fortunate not to lose his life following this fall. Falls from height can be prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment and employing a high level of supervision.

Deaths caused by falls through fragile surfaces occur mainly to those working in the building maintenance sector when carrying out small, short-term maintenance and cleaning jobs.

“On average seven people are killed each year after falling through a fragile roof or fragile roof light. Many others suffer permanent disabling injury.”

The firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £5,368.23 in costs.

Accident at work compensation – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source:Health and Safety Executive

Two Dead and One Seriously Injured in Crane Collapse

Police have confirmed that two men have died and another is seriously injured after a crane collapsed in Crewe on Wednesday afternoon.

Incident

Emergency services were called to Pheonix Leisure Park on Dunwoody Way at around 4.30pm yesterday. Cheshire fire and rescue service were able to free one man, believed to be the crane driver. He was taken to Royal Stoke hospital by air ambulance and his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Chief Supt Matt Welsted said that the bodies of the two men who died would be recovered from the scene shortly. He described the incident as ‘truly tragic’.

He also asked anyone with video of the scene to “respect the families of those involved”. He went on to say:

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families affected at this extremely difficult time.”

The occupants of a nearby house have also been relocated, after the falling crane damaged the property.

Workplace accidents – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian

Worker Suffers Serious Burns in Workplace Accident

Two firms have been fined after a man suffered serious electrical burns to his face, arms and hands in a workplace accident.

Accident at work

The 28 year old man, employed by Park, Gate and company Ltd (PGC), was carrying out electrical work for Armstrong World Industries Limited (AWI) at a site in Gateshead on 21 December 2014 when the incident occurred.

During the work, the employee cut a live cable, causing serious burns to his face, arms and hands.

Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident and found that neither firm had adequately identified if the cables were live or dead before starting the work.

Furthermore, Park Gate failed to provide workers with a safe system of work.

Sentencing and fines

Park, Gate and Company Ltd of Kingstown Broadway, Kingstown Industrial Estate, Carlisle pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. the company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,012.52.

Armstrong World Industries Limited, of Armstrong House, Market Square, Uxbridge pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,082.92.

HSE inspector Victoria Crofton said following the hearing:

“There were serious failures on the part of both companies in this case. Electricity supplies should be made dead and proved to be dead before work starts.”

Accident at work compensation – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your injury at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health & Safety Executive