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May 6th 2021

Personal Injury

£18,000 damages for agency worker injured on first shift at Morrisons’ factory

Lauren Cartwright

Lauren Cartwright

£18,000 damages for agency worker injured on first shift at Morrisons’ factory

Morrisons supermarket has agreed damages of £18,000 for an agency worker left in need of dental surgery after suffering an accident within hours of starting his first shift.

Morrisons supermarket has agreed damages of £18,000 for an agency worker left in need of dental surgery after suffering an accident within hours of starting his first shift.

The 29-year-old worker was employed through a recruitment agency to work at the supermarket’s factory in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, starting his duties as a picker and stacker without having had any training or a work induction.

Tasked with placing empty baskets onto a conveyor which transported them to a higher level, he was injured when a number fell on him from about three metres above, hitting him in the face and left shoulder.

He suffered injuries to his nose and front teeth, two of which were fractured and required emergency treatment.

As part of a legal claim, led by accident at work specialists Hudgell Solicitors, it was alleged Morrisons had breached its legal duty of care and ultimately placed the worker at risk of injury by failing to carry out adequate risk assessments or provide adequate training and equipment.

Lauren Cartwright, a specialist in accident at work claims at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “This incident had a substantial impact on our client as he was left in a lot of pain and discomfort for some time by the injuries caused.

“He needed dental surgery to extract a tooth and he was unable to sleep well for a long period. He also suffered psychologically due to the appearance of his teeth.

“It is the responsibility of employers to make sure all staff are fully trained in the roles they are asked to do, and also that they are appropriately supervised.

“In this case our client arrived at work and was met by another member of agency staff. He was shown to his overalls and taken straight to the factory floor.

“He was then directed by a manager at Morrisons to begin work before any induction or training was carried out. Within hours he had been injured and needed taking to hospital for assessment and a tooth extraction.

“The major injury was to his front teeth; he went to a dental practice the following day as he was unable to eat and was suffering from a really bad headache.”

Legal claim covered cost of dental work to replace two fractured teeth

Following the accident the man needed almost half of one of his front teeth removing and replacing with a crown and another extracting and replacing with a full crown.

The cost of dental work was covered as part of the legal claim.

Mrs Cartwright added: “It transpired that the only training our client had been given by the agency was a maths and English test, and Morrisons were aware of this. It is imperative that any business recruiting temporary or permanent staff through agencies ensure they are given appropriate inductions, training and support for the roles they are to undertake.”

Solicitors acting on behalf of Morrisons admitted full liability for this accident and the settlement ensured that the cost of future dental treatment was covered.

“We were still in a position of seeking further expert dental advice regarding treatment, and were also looking at securing an independent expert opinion as to any psychological impact this incident may have had, but following an offer to settle our client decided to accept and put the matter behind him.”

The worker, who asked not to be named, said “This accident was quite nasty and it had a big impact on me and my confidence, particularly as my nose was damaged and of course it didn’t look pleasant with two damaged front teeth.

“It was on my mind when out in public and I was self-conscious about it.

“Lauren has been brilliant in supporting me and making the process easier. I was constantly updated and able to call and discuss my case and, when the time came that I wanted to bring it to an end and accept the offer made to me, she listened, gave me the appropriate advice and helped me to bring the matter to a swift conclusion. I am grateful for the support I was given.”

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