Personal Injury in the construction industry – Failure in training leads to incorrectly installed safety decking

A construction firm based in Hitchin that failed to train their operatives on installing safety decking has caused a serious personal injury to one of its employees according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The employee, a carpenter, was injured when attempting to work on a brace that was supporting trusses. One of the braces then fell causing the carpenter to fall with it leading to a number of compensable injuries.

The firm responsible has now been investigated by the HSE and found guilty of contravening regulations relating to the Work at Height Regulations. Sadly, during the investigation, the HSE discovered that the safety decking that is supposed to help prevent serious injuries when falling from heights had not been installed correctly. The incorrect installation was a result of employees not being correctly trained on how to set up safety decking leading to ‘significant gaps’.

The 36-year-old employee has reportedly suffered nerve and tissue damage along with whiplash and a gash in his little finger. The nerve damage has affected his back which is likely to cause problems later in life. Back injuries are extremely common in the construction industry however this is usually due to heavy lifting and straining repetitively whilst on site. Compensation is available for these types of conditions and depending on the severity can run into the hundreds of thousands. It is unclear at this stage whether the injured carpenter is pursuing a compensation claim against the construction firm in question.

It is important for employees to pursue compensation for personal injury where possible. This is due to a couple of reason – the first being that it highlights potential issues to an employer so that measures can be taken to ensure no one else is injured. Secondly, injured employees can find themselves out of work with their injuries for considerable periods so money is required to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Injuries can mean changes and adaptations to a person’s lifestyle and home which also cost money that the compensation awarded will cover.

The Hitchin based construction firm, in this case, were sentenced earlier this year for the health and safety failings and were fined just over £71,000 (inclusive of legal costs).

An HSE inspector commented on the case with following ‘This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls.’

‘Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.’

Unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common and The Compensation Experts come across cases like these on a daily basis. Our experts are trained on how to deal with these types of claims and the solicitors we work with are some of the best in the country for personal injury claims. If you or someone you know have had a similar experience in the workplace, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team and find out how we can help you.