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March 23rd 2020

Personal Injury

Worker receives £2million following accident which led to amputation and takes on new role at ‘supportive and understanding’ employer

Leanne Stephenson

Leanne Stephenson

Solicitor, Civil Liberties

Worker receives £2million following accident which led to amputation and takes on new role at ‘supportive and understanding’ employer

A manual labourer who had to have his arm amputated following a work accident has praised both his employers and the legal process after being able to stay in employment whilst receiving £2million in damages for his life-changing injuries.

A manual labourer who had to have his arm amputated following a work accident has praised both his employers and the legal process after being able to stay in employment whilst receiving £2million in damages for his life-changing injuries.

The man, who has asked not to be named, had been working with equipment involving high pressure systems and was hit by a sizeable metal section which became loose and flew off at high speed.

The impact knocked the worker to the ground and resulted in him suffering a string of serious injuries. He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance but such was the injury to his arm, which took the brunt of the impact, that it had to be amputated.

A subsequent investigation found his employers had failed to provide suitable equipment to protect workers when carrying out the specific duty. Provisions were also not put in place to minimise possible injuries should such an accident occur.

Despite making a claim for damages against his employers through Hudgell Solicitors, the man said he had been well supported by his firm, where he remains today having been given a new role.

“I have to admit that when I first considered taking legal action I was a bit worried about the impact it could have at work, despite what had happened to me.” he said.

“Given the injuries I had suffered taking legal action was something I obviously had to do, but of course I was worried about how it would impact on relations with my employers.

“However, I had tremendous support from Hudgell Solicitors they reassured me that it was a process I should follow.

“My employers were also very supportive and understanding from day one. They allowed me to return to work in another role as soon as I was fit and the legal case was something that progressed independent from day to day work. It wasn’t something discussed between myself and my work, but just left to the lawyers.”

Looking back on the accident, the married father says he didn’t himself really consider the danger he was putting himself in when carrying out the work on the day, but says he is glad procedures have now been changed to better protect staff.

“It was dangerous, obviously, given what happened to me but I guess at the time I was just getting on with the job,” he said.

“These things can unfortunately happen when people are working with machinery and I was very unfortunate that it happened to me.

“Clearly it has been demonstrated that measures should have been in place to both prevent the accident happening and to better protect people should things go wrong.

“I’m not an angry person and I’d say that I’ve accepted what happened to me and adapted to a very different life well. I’m pleased that I’ve had great support from my lawyers and my employers, and pleased that changes have been made to improve safety going forward.”

A father of young children when the accident happened, the man says his injuries had a huge impact on his life, and that of his family.

“My kids were very young when this happened and they found it tough to adapt and see me struggling and to understand that I couldn’t do everything I’d done before,” he said.

“Of course, it changes almost every aspect of your life. I still need a lot of support from my wife with day to day activities. Just the normal things like getting dressed or preparing food. It impacts on everything really, but we’ve adapted well as a family and now these things are just part of our lives and how we live.

“Obviously I’m delighted with the settlement, but I’d gladly turn back the clock and never have the accident at all.  It is money that will provide for my family and children. I was offered financial advice by Hudgell Solicitors also, which was very much appreciated too.”

Solicitor says employers take full responsibility for safety of workers

Solicitor Leanne Stephenson, of Hudgell Solicitors, who represented the worker, said: “This was a very serious case but has been one which has been handled very responsibly by all involved.

“My client suffered what was a devastating, life-changing injury as he went about his daily work. Losing an arm has had a massive impact on his life at home with his wife children, but he is someone who deals with what life throws at him and gets on with things.

“He has never shown any anger towards his employers. His employers have also shown him complete support. That approach saw him able to come through extensive surgery and rehabilitation and return to the world of work within a matter of month, at the same firm, in a different role.

“All employers are legally bound to ensure working environments are safe for employees to prevent injuries being suffered. This covers everything from the equipment used, training received and procedures and policies being followed when jobs are carried out.

“On the day of the accident, like many committed employees, he was doing his best to get the job done for his employers. The reality is he was perhaps fortunate not to have been killed, such was the impact of the impact. Not only has he lost his left arm, he has also suffered significant loss of strength in his right arm.

“Sadly, we see too many cases where set policies and procedures for dangerous work tasks, which are in place to protect the health of workers, are not followed. It is always the responsibility of employers to ensure staff are fully trained in the work they do, have suitable equipment and that policies meeting health and safety guidelines are followed at all times.

“Of course, we are delighted that insurers of the firm made such a good settlement offer which reflected the serous impact on our client’s life of this injury. In terms of a legal case, this was exactly how it should be and we thank the defendant for their approach.”

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