Routine Task in a Hazardous Workplace – Why No Safety Measures?


A Lancashire labourer has been awarded personal injury compensation following an accident at work.

Date of Accident

On 10 August 2011, the 29 year-old was working at a recycling plant, where he had been employed as a general labourer for nearly 4 years. His daily routine involved removing rubbish from skips and sorting it for recycling.

Heavy Door had Bricks Attached

On the day in question, the man attended to a truckload of waste for recycling newly arrived at the plant. As he tried to manoeuvre a heavy door, he discovered the item had a number of builders' bricks attached to its base.

…and a Rusty Nail

Under the weight of the bricks, the door, which weighed some 20kg, spun around, causing a 4 inch nail sticking out of it to cut straight into the worker's leg, sustaining a deep 4-inch laceration.

It was later found the worker had received no manual handling training and was issued with no appropriate protective equipment for carrying out tasks like this.

Firm at Fault

Lisa Sheldon of Simpson Millar LLP, who pursued a compensation claim against the recycling company on behalf of the labourer, said the firm had breached a number of terms of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

"These include failing to make suitable assessments of employees' risks, neglecting to issue protective equipment and overlooking entirely basic training and instruction for people working in what was potentially a very hazardous environment."

Compensation for Company's Failings

Given the shortcomings of the firm's safety procedures and the exceptional discomfort of the man's injury, a compensation award was duly settled at £4,211.88.

Top tips to take away:

  • If you work somewhere that might be dangerous, your employer should supply you with training and safety equipment
  • If you've been injured at work and it's not your fault, contact Simpson Millar LLP's personal injury team – we'll let you know if you can make a claim.

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