Fatal Accidents

Employee Compensated for Crushed Arm in Work Accident

A man, who works in a factory in Scotland, has received a settlement of compensation for a work accident that crushed his arm.

The accident occurred in September 2013 when Robert Faulds, aged fifty-eight from Falkirk, was working at the United Closures and Plastics bottle-top factory. However, the production engineer’s arm was caught and dragged into a printing machine and crushed.

Robert was rushed to hospital where he was treated for his crushed arm. He had to take fourteen days off of work as a result of the injury, and though Robert underwent an incentive course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, his arm never regained full strength. When Robert eventually did return to work, the company claimed that he was at fault. Robert was then demoted from production engineer to machine operator.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the circumstances of Robert’s accident, and found that his employers had neglected to conduct an adequate risk assessment of the offset printing machine, in which Robert’s arm was caught. The agency said that it was in an awkward position, and that United Closures and Plastics should have done more to ensure their employees had safe access.

The HSE then prosecuted Robert’s employers for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Robert then sought legal counsel and made a claim against United Closures and Plastics for his work accident. The company were prosecuted at the Sheriff’s Court in Stirling, where Robert was awarded £125,000 in work injury compensation. The company were also ordered to pay £12,000 in fines for their negligence.

Robert, in a comment to the press after the closure of the hearing, commented that “The thing that upsets me is that all the way through this, they have put the blame on me. They said I did an unsafe act and had a flippant attitude to safety. The money will change my life because I will be able to buy a flat and look to the future”.

His solicitor also made a comment, adding that “Robert is a very hard-working man who was following instructions from his employer when he was seriously injured. He has now been left with a life-changing injury and his future employment prospects have been greatly affected – it is only right that he has been paid this substantial level of compensation.”

Family Compensated for Flying Accident Death

The family of fifteen-year-old Air Cadet has been awarded compensation for his death, which occurred when the plane he was riding in collided with a glider.

Nicholas Rice, an Air Cadet from Calcot in Reading, and Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee, a pilot, were both killed in an air accident on the 14th June 2009 when the plane they were flying in collided with a glider over the Drayton Airfield.

Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee had been declared fit to fly by Douglas Wyder, a doctor for the RAF Benson. However, this was in spite of the fact that Flight Lieutenant Blee had a diagnosed spinal condition, ankylosing spondylitis, which could have caused his spine to suddenly fracture without warning.

An inquest was conducted into the accident, and the result was to declare the deaths as accidental. The Royal Air Force subsequently apologised to the Rice family for their son’s death, and admitted that Flight Lieutenant Blee’s spinal condition may have played a part in the accident. They stated that he should not have been declared fit to fly.

Julia Rice, Nicholas’ mother, made a compensation claim for fatal injuries in a flying accident, though the Ministry of Defence initially contested her claim on the basis of time limits after such an incident occurs.

Despite this, Mrs Rice continued with her claim and when the Ministry of Defence were threatened with court, they negotiated a five-figure settlement for the fatal injuries.

The Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal found that Dr Wyper’s fitness to practice was impaired. However, this did not proceed any further as Dr Wyper has been put on an indefinite suspension after the inquest into the deaths was completed.