Good luck not getting injured on the job in the UK

Industry news roundup: week ended 25 Feb 2013:

Whether you’re on the job at a worksite or you’re just going about your duties in a factory setting, it seems as if you’re almost guaranteed to hurt yourself!

It’s been horrid for UK workers, as reports just seem to keep rolling in about the newest gruesome and painful injuries we inflict on ourselves during the course of work. If you ask me, employers play a big role in cases of personal injury at work, and judging by these two newest stories, the courts seem to agree with me!

First there was the story of a carpenter falling through a skylight opening and cracking his skull open as he worked on a building in Surrey, which led to the Health and Safety Executive fining the man’s employer and will probably lead to a costly personal injury compensation claim against the firm as well.

The twenty one year old that fell through the skylight and nearly dashed his brains out on the floor nearly three metres below, whose name has not been made known to the public, had been working for Horley-based D&R Carpentry Ltd at the time of the accident. The HSE’s investigation into the incident found that the company had already been warned about the dangers of falls from height at other construction sites, but despite the fact that they had received a prohibition notice in the past the carpentry firm made no efforts to put any sort of safety measures in place for their workers; the HSE naturally took a bit of a dim view of that, dragging D&R Carpentry into Staines Magistrates’ Court and prosecuting the pants off of them.

Of course you don’t have to be up on a roof to end up injured, as this next story proves: one Northamptonshire-based sweet factory worker ended up having his hand crushed within a sweet making machine, leading to the HSE prosecuting the injured worker’s employer as well. Another unnamed employee, this time twenty eight years old, had been attempting to remove a blockage from the machine in the course of his duties at the Tilley’s Sweets¬†Thrapston plant, only to have his glove become entangled in the machinery, dragging his right hand deep into the machine.

The man’s injuries were so severe that he had to go through a number of surgical procedures to cobble his ruined hand back into some semblance of functionality. He’s still going to physiotherapy in order to re-learn how to use his once-mangled hand, and ended up missing four months of work due to the injury.

The HSE had heard quite enough at this point, slapping the sweet factory with a prohibition order that required them to actually stop what they were doing and take steps to make their machinery safer. On top of that, the HSE prosecuted them in court, fining Tilley’s Sweets ¬£1,500 and doubtlessly helping to build a case for the injure worker’s work accident claim against his employer.

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