Knee injury platform slipup leads to £1,900 damages settlement
Simpson Millar has won compensation for a driver who suffered a knee injury after slipping on an inaptly-painted platform at work.
The driver was using the filling station at his employers' depot to refuel his lorry at around 2.30pm on 9 November 2011.
To get to the lorry's fuel tank, he needed to stand on a raised platform. But in so doing he slipped on the platform's surface, smashing his knee against the tank and sustaining soft tissue injuries to his right knee and right hip. He also jarred his back.
Shocked and shaken, the driver reported the matter onsite and completed an incident report form, later seeking advice from his GP.
It transpired that the platform had been painted just 1 week earlier, before which it had been in an untreated concrete state. More to the point, the paint finish was gloss – and consequently very slippery.
We wrote to the driver's employer, DHL, alleging the firm had contravened 2 specific areas of employment law: the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999; and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
These breaches revolved around the main issue: that the defendant had failed to provide and implement a safe system of work. Specific failures included the lack of a risk assessment that could have highlighted the potential danger of gloss paint on the vehicle's raised platform; and the fact that the defendant had not kept its filling station free of hazards.
Although DHL admitted liability, the firm alleged contributory negligence in support of a reduced settlement. Disputing this position, we recommended rejection of the defendant's offer of £1,750; a figure DHL agreed later to increase to £1,900, including £25 for incidental expenses.
Since the accident, the offending platform has been refinished with a non-slip, sand-based paint.