In the wake of a six day stay in intensive care after suffering severe burn injuries, one teenage employee filed a work accident claim after he caught fire on the job.
While he was employed by Greenwich-based O’Keefe Construction Ltd, the eighteen year old spilled paint thinners on his trousers during spray painting work at the firm’s Kent depot. The young worker declined to make his identity known to the public.
The young man was on his way to his locker to change his clothes when he passed in front of the gas burner that was being used to heat the workshop. Unfortunately as he did so his trousers burst into flame according to his accident claim.
The flames were doused after several colleagues burst into action, applying water from a nearby hose. The teenage worker was then rushed to hospital where he spent sixteen days recovering from his injuries. Six days of his hospital stay were spent with him in the hospital’s intensive care ward. He additionally needed several skin grafts which prevented him from returning to work for the next six months as well.
The Health and Safety Executive launched a legal action against O’Keefe Construction Ltd. The firm admitted to breaching several Health and Safety at Work regulations and was ordered to pay a £20,000 fine at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court. Additionally the company was made responsible for more than £6,200 in court costs.
Investigators for the Health and Safety Executive declined to comment in detail regarding the young worker’s personal injury claim. However many workers with similar injuries have been awarded substantial compensation awards for their injuries. Legal experts predict that any possible payout to the teenage worker may be substantial indeed due to both the severity of his injuries and his lengthy recuperation time.