A surprising number of accidents at work occur every year around the globe, many of which happen in unusual circumstances. Freak accidents at work often result in devastating injuries and in some cases, death. Here are some examples of the types of accidents at work which have happened over the years, causing both injuries and fatalities.
Freak Accident 1
In the autumn of 2009, a landscape gardener was tragically left blind in one eye after a freak accident at work. Ashley Brabbin 25, from Walsall was working for Glendale Managed Services Ltd at the time of the incident. Mr Brabbin, was partially blinded after a flying piece of metal hit him in the eye as he was using a ride-on mower. The professional gardener admitted that he was not wearing safety goggles at the time of the accident. Glendale Managed Services Ltd admitted liability to the accident and Mr Brabbins received interim pay-outs for his loss of earnings.
Freak Accident 2
A builder in Essex had a lucky escape in 2011 as a nail gun fired a six-inch nail into his back without causing serious injuries. The unnamed builder was repairing a staircase in a commercial property in Billericay, Essex when the freak accident occurred. It is reported that the nail gun ‘went off’ accidentally and lodged itself in the victim’s back. Luckily, the builder was not seriously injured and he discharged himself from hospital that same day and returned to work the following morning.
Freak Accident 3
Durham City Council, of County Hall, Durham was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £8,212.50 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, after a grounds man’s arm was severed in a wood chipper machine. The unnamed 25- year-old council worker, was feeding the machine bush trimmings when his glove got caught, pulling his left arm into the machine. The worker’s arm was severely injured and surgeons failed to save any part of his arm. Treework remains as one of the most risky industries to work in. Between April 2006 and March 2011, treework caused 15 fatalities and more than 80 incidents resulting in serious injuries.
Freak Accident 4
In Australian 2010, workplace safety officials launched an investigation as a woman was decapitated when a grass cutter ran over a steel pipe which went flying through air striking the woman’s head. Muraka Jenny Vearncombe was pronounced dead at the scene at 8am. The 48-year-old male private tractor driver was treated in hospital for shock.
Freak Accident 5
A worker was killed in a freak accident at work after a 39-metre concrete pouring boom collapsed on top of him at a construction site in Australia. Ben Catanzariti aged 21, worked at the Canberra building site at the time of the incident. It was reported that two of his fellow colleagues experienced injuries from the accident.
Freak Accident 6
In 2013, a tree trimmer in Haddonfield, Philadelphia broke his leg in a freak crane accident. The owner of the crane company truck says the tree trimming company completely underestimated the weight load being put on the crane. The crane truck was hired to support a limb that was being trimmed to support the felling process.
After the limb has been cut into, the crane tipped towards the worker in the bucket. To avoid the crane, the tree trimmer leaped from the bucket and landed on a house roof, breaking his leg. The tree trimmer was trying to bring down a large tree at the time of the accident, which was threatening a home in the street. The tree trimmer was taken to hospital to treat his broken leg.
Freak Accident 7
A veteran Irish University worker was killed in a freak accident at work as he was struck in the head with a cherry picker machine. Frank McGrath worked at the University College Cork (UCC) which was experiencing construction work at the time. It is thought that the 58-year-old was working nearby the construction site when he was somehow struck in the head by a cherry picker machine which caused severe head injuries. Mr McGrath was pronounced dead at the scene, after paramedics failed to stabilise him. The Health and Safety Authority went on to investigate the freak accident in accordance with protocols for all fatal work accidents.
Freak Accident 8
In November 2012, an Australian zoo keeper Lucy Melo was hospitalised for 12 days after she was attacked by an elephant. Miss Melo suffered a heart attack and several other severe injuries following the incident. The 40-year-old was tending to two-year-old elephant Pathi Harn when she noticed a sudden change to the usually calm animal. Things took a sudden change for the worst when the elephant pinned Miss Melo to a metal board at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. The elephant’s trunk was forced against her chest, … her to breath. Miss Melo elapsed into a coma and suffered cardiac arrest at the scene for almost five minutes. Paramedics managed to get Miss Melo breathing, however she remained critical is hospital for several days after the accident.
Freak Accident 9
A freak accident at work occurred at Burdekin Engineering in North Queensland when a worker was changing a split-rim truck tyre. As the 20-year-old was changing the tyre, the tyre suddenly exploded. Brett Klaka was rushed to hospital but died shortly after due to severe head injuries. The Department of Workplace Health and Safety were called to investigate his death.
Freak Accident 10
Kelly Nield suffered horrific injuries after suffering from a freak accident at work in 2009. The 25-year-old worked for Mainetti, a global manufacturer of clothing hangers. The incident took place in a factory in Deeside, England. Ms Nield’s scarf became entangled in the machinery as she was sorting out clothing hangers on a conveyor belt. She suffered throat injuries, hair loss and a fractured finger due to the accident and spent three months in hospital recovering from her injuries. The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the company for serious safety failings. Mainetti was fined £81,668 for breaching safety regulations.
Work Accident Claims
Employees who have suffered an accident at work as a result of breached health and safety regulations will be liable for compensation.
Can I claim on behalf of the deceased?
Many people die from freak accidents at work, leaving families in great shock and sadness. Claiming compensation may be the last thing on their minds, however compensation may be essential for families to remain living a stable life. If the fatal accident was someone else’s fault, families may be able to claim compensation on behalf of the deceased.
For further advice on work accident claims, get in touch and speak to our experienced solicitors who deal with work accident claims. Highly sympathetic and compassionate, our solicitors will help make the steps towards making a claim as simple as possible.
Author: Nicholas Jervis