A teenager, who was working on a construction site when a concrete wall fell upon him, has started to claim for work injury compensation against his employers.
The incident occurred in late September 2013, when Connor Watson was working with DJ Laing Contractors Ltd at the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme. Connor, who was just seventeen when the accident occurred, and his team needed to remove a letterbox built into the arch of the old Arbroath to Forfar railway so that they could replace a pipe.
Connor was asked to remove some of the blocks of the letterbox, but as he removed the fifth, the wall gave away. The structure, weighing 0.46 tonnes, fell onto Connor’s legs, crushing them. Thanks to extensive rehabilitation, the young man has regained use of them, though doctors expect that by the time he is thirty he will be arthritic.
An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executives. They found that DJ Laing Contractors Ltd did not carry out an adequate assessment of the structure on which they were working and, as such, could not engage in reasonable precautions to prevent Connor’s accident. This was a clear breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and in November 2014 the company were ordered to pay a £32,000 fine by the Forfar Sheriff’s Court.
DJ Laing Ltd have a “return to work” programme for injured employees, and through this programme Connor was able to go back to the contractors in May of last year. However, his quality of life has been negatively affected – he will never be able to play football again, for example – and is concerned that he will be excluded from the future job market because of his arthritis.
Connor consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for work injury compensation against his employers. His solicitor, in a comment to the Forfar evening news, said that there should be no doubts concerning liability, and the question is actually how much compensation his client is to receive.
David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, commented that “I confirm that Connor is currently employed by DJ Laing (Contracts) Limited and was involved in a serious accident on one of our civil engineering sites in September 2013. Connor is currently undertaking a return to work rehabilitation programme and the matter of compensation is being dealt with by our insurance company.”
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.”