A Bradford man faced the prospect of having his lower leg and foot amputated; this is a result of an accident at work which occurred last year, during February 2012. After a major health and safety failing at his workplace, Emballator UK, his leg and foot were crushed under a one and a half tonne pallet. The pallet was carrying a load of tin plates at the time of the accident and Mr Wain was substantially injured. The company was prosecuted and deemed at fault by the Health and Safety Executive after it identified some serious health and safety failings at the factory Mr Wain was working for.
Mr Wain’s injuries at the time were extensive. The sole of his foot was split and one of his toes was severed. He spent almost two weeks in hospital following the accident at the plant, and had to have surgery to reattach his toes and to insert metal plates into right ankle and screws into his right lower leg. However, a year after his accident at work, following regular hospital check-ups, he has now been told that his right lower leg and foot may have to be amputated. This is likely to be devastating for him. He has already been unable to work since the incident occurred and has been largely housebound. To add to this he has been unable to walk properly on the injured leg and has been using crutches since the incident.
What Factors Might Play Into An Accident At Work Claim?
The accident which occurred was deemed to be due to the negligence of Emballator UK. Mr Wain was told to use an old pallet turner, due to a new one being out of action due to a fault. The company was found to be negligent due to their failure to:
- Conduct a full risk assessment for the old machine: The old machine had a greater risk of pallets falling out of it and therefore Mr Wain was not adequately informed of the risks related to using the machine.
- Proper training: When an employee is using a piece of machinery for the first time they must be fully trained in its proper use and supervised, if needed, whilst using it for the first time. Although Mr Wain received some brief training from a colleague it was ruled that he did not fully understand the dangers of the machine and that he should have been being supervised during his first use of it.
- Safe equipment: The pallet turner was found to be unsafe. The company had failed to install proper guards to the machine and a proper clamping mechanism to prevent pallets from falling out of the machine whilst they were turning.
Due to these substantial health and safety failings, Emballator UK were found to be at fault for Mr Wain’s injury. They were fined £12,000 and had to pay full legal costs. As it stands there is no report of any compensation figure Mr Wain is to receive for the accident. Loyalty Law believes he is likely to receive a substantial payout, and the figure will be partially dependent upon whether he has to have his leg amputated.