According to recent reports, a company that undertakes hot dip galvanizing for the corrosion protection of steelwork has been fined after an employee suffered a fatal injury at work.
The employee was operating an overhead crane adjacent to the molten zinc bath, when a tubular steel brace exploded during galvanizing. This caused it to ‘rocket’ across the workshop floor, fatally striking the employee who was standing in its path. The steel brace failed due to the absence of vent holes to prevent the build-up of pressure inside the hollow steel brace during the galvanizing process.
A quantity of liquid entered the brace during earlier stages of the galvanizing process; when immersed into the 450°C zinc bath, the trapped liquid turned rapidly into steam generating very high internal pressures sufficient to cause failure of the brace. This resulted in a violent explosion which propelled the steel brace across the workshop floor.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to adequately assess the risk and devise and implement suitable safe systems and methods of work for venting checks. In addition, employees did not receive adequate training or supervision when completing venting checks.
Speaking after the hearing, an HSE inspector said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. His death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, put a safe system of work in place and ensured that employees were appropriately trained and supervised.”
Fatal Injuries at Work
Suffering a fatal injury at work can be devastating. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s latest figures, 142 workers suffered a fatal injury at work in 2020/21. These accidents can have a huge impact on loved ones. Employers must do all they can to minimise the risk of fatal injuries at work.
Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe at work. Your employer must make sure that they meet the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999). They do this by conducting risk assessments to ensure that they keep everyone safe.
Self-employed staff may also be able to make a claim, as many workers are often self-employed on a contractor basis. This means, importantly, there is still usually a company that they are working for. If the business you are working for fails in their duty to keep you safe, then they may be responsible for the fatal injury at work.
Claiming on Behalf of a Loved One
When a loved one suffers a fatal injury at work, it can be devastating. Compensation will undoubtedly be the last thing on your mind. The solicitors we work with can help with any financial strain that a fatal injury at work may leave you with.
How We Can Help if a Loved One Suffers a Fatal Injury at Work
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes a fatal injury at work. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable experts.