Ignoring the advice of the EHS can land employers in serious trouble

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Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) departments are there to provide advice and guidance to your employer on occupational and environmental health and safety issues.

If an employer decided not to follow the advice and guidance given by the EHS it can put the company in an extremely difficult situation whereby they are opening themselves up to potential litigation problems.

At Simpson Millar LLP we are currently acting for a Claimant who was injured in an accident in September 2007. After the accident the Claimant had to take time off work to recover from his injuries and during this time he was referred by his employer to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) service, Atos Origin.

Having seen the EHS the Claimant was asked to return to work on a rehabilitation programme commencing at the beginning of January 2008 until the end of February 2008.

However, 1 week into the rehabilitation programme the Claimant was approached by his manager and was told that he must go back to full duties against EHS advice.

Due to the manager's actions and his failure to comply with the advice given by the EHS department, the Claimant's injuries did not resolve and the Claimant had to go sick again.

The Claimant successfully took out a grievance against the employer having submitted a claim to his employer alleging that their manager was negligent in ignoring the EHS advice, and this caused prolonged injury and further financial losses.

The employer has admitted liability and we are currently awaiting medical reports so we can assess the level of damages.

Gary Tierney, Associate at Simpson Millar LLP who regularly deals with Personal Injury Claims comments: "The above shows the importance of the employer/EHS relationship and what can occur if the employer ignores the advice of the EHS department."


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