CWU member wins £4,000 claim for on-site injury


A labourer working for a large construction company won a £4,000 compensation claim after his leg was badly injured on a building site.

Manhole Cover

In February 2012, Alexander Simpson was working on the new Gwynn Hall theatre development in Neath, West Glamorgan when he fell down an unguarded open manhole cover.

Injured on-site

The 65 year-old, who was employed by Morgan Sindall Group, hurt his left leg, sustaining soft tissue injuries and severely bruising his knee and foot.

At his own expense, Mr Simpson attended hospital for medical attention. However, in the aftermath of the accident he found himself unable to walk far without pain.

Although his left leg showed some improvement, his ankle remained painful. With his injuries ongoing, he lost his weekly wage of £200, with no certainty of any imminent return to work.

Employer was liable

In cases involving manhole covers, local authorities are usually responsible for maintenance and related safety issues. However, following instruction from Mr Simpson's union, the CWU, we wrote to his employer alleging breaches of workplace health & safety legislation.

Morgan Sindall had allowed the manhole covers to be left open and unguarded, with no warning signs in place to alert employees to the hazard.

In total we alleged 14 counts against the firm, covering its lack of risk assessment measures and failure to ensure a safe place of work for Mr Simpson and his colleagues.

"This personal injury at work case highlights the fact that not all accidents involving uncovered manholes are necessarily the responsibility of the local authority," said Phillip Gower, who acted for Mr Simpson. "Companies have a duty to ensure their premises are safe for visitors and contractors."

"Efficient and excellent" service

Using a Tomlin consent order, under which any action in court is stayed according to terms agreed in advance, Mr Simpson received a compensation settlement of £4,000.

Our client expressed his thanks for our "efficient and excellent" service. "From beginning to end of my claim, I found Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors informative and helpful," Mr Simpson said. "[They] provided good advice, keeping me up-to-date with proceedings."

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