When people turn up at their places of work, they have a right to expect that their employers will have taken the necessary measures to reduce risk to their wellbeing. Over recent decades, great progress has been made in the UK concerning workplace safety. However, lapses do still occur.
If individuals suffer as a result of accidents in the workplace that they believe were not their fault, they can contact online solicitors to take forward claims for compensation. While such legal action cannot undo the pain, and suffering that victims experience, it can help to provide people with a sense of empowerment. For the best results, it is important that people choose experienced and skilled legal solicitors. One man who may well be seeking compensation for his suffering is Ethen Thoronol.
Last year, he suffered serious injuries to his hand as a result of an accident at work. Recently, his employers were fined for safety failings. The 36-year-old was working for a kebab manufacturer in February 2012 when his hand became trapped in unguarded machinery. During a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, it was revealed that the worker was cleaning a de-rending machine when he noticed a piece of meat or sinew was caught in a part called the stripped comb. He attempted to dislodge the item with a pressure washer, but when that failed, he reached in. His hand became caught between the stripped comb and the serrated roller above it.
He immediately called for help, but could not reach the stop button, so the serrated roller continued to rotate over the back of his hand, grinding it away until a colleague came to his rescue and turned off the machine.
Mr. Thoronol sustained major damage. As well as losing the knuckles on his right hand, he suffered injuries to his tendons and veins. He was in hospital for a total of 19 days and needed three operations in order to rebuild his knuckles and tendons. He also required a large skin graft, which was taken from his left thigh. Since then, he has had two further operations and is awaiting plastic surgery. Unsurprisingly, he has been unable to return to work since the incident.
An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that despite the risks of operators having parts of their bodies dragged into the machinery, there was no interlock or tunnel guard on the device to prevent workers from reaching in. Also, training in the use of the machine was found to be inconsistent. Staff members had not been made aware of the risks that arose during cleaning operations, or of the methods they should use to ensure they were not exposed to dangers. The firm involved was issued a financial penalty of £17,500 and was ordered to pay costs of £7,500 after pleading guilty to safety breaches.
Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident was wholly avoidable. Ethen Thoronol was failed by the company’s lack of proper training, inadequate assessment of risks and lack of effective measures to stop access to dangerous parts of equipment. “Regardless of the nature of their injuries, workplace accident victims can contact solicitors online to take their cases forward.