According to recent reports, a Rochdale-based firm has been fined following an accident where a worker had to have his leg amputated. On 4 February 2019, groundworkers, including the injured worker, were breaking out ground towards a trench to install new drainage at the site. A hydraulic breaker fell off the 13-tonne excavator it was fitted to by a quick hitch, narrowly missing another worker and landing on the right foot of the victim. The man suffered life-altering injuries with his leg having to be amputated below the knee following the crush accident at work.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found there was no proper segregation between people and the excavator. The company had not made provisions for a dedicated area for the changing of attachments or provided a vehicle-safety marshal. This meant that the site setup posed a serious safety threat to pedestrians as well.
HSE inspector Trisha Elvy said that the insufficient safety on site could have led to the death of the worker. “There should be suitable, defined safe systems of work so that persons who need to work in close proximity to excavators can do so safely,” she added.
Crush Accidents at Work
A crush accident at work can occur in a variety of ways. Some of the most frequent examples include having limbs trapped in machinery, being caught up with uncontrolled livestock, and getting trapped under falling objects.
Crush injuries can cause:
- Nerve damage
- Excessive bleeding
- Cuts and broken bones
- Severe bruising and soft tissue damage
Falling Objects Crush Accident at Work
A crush accident at work can occur when a heavy load collapse trapping someone beneath. For example, materials falling from a warehouse shelf or collapsed structures on a building site. The object does not have to fall very far to cause serious injury.
Employers are responsible for keeping the work environment as safe as possible. They must also supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect workers from this type of injury. An employer may be liable for injuries you sustain if they fail to supply hard hats, steel toe-capped boots and so on.
Claiming Against Your Employer
It is your employer’s responsibility to keep you safe from a crush accident at work. This means that they must make sure you have the correct training and equipment to be able to do your job correctly. Risk assessments must also be carried out, to ensure the job is done safely.
If your employer has not followed the guidelines to keep you safe at work, or has done so incorrectly, you may be able to claim compensation. We understand that you may feel uneasy about claiming against your employer, however all employers must have employer’s liability insurance. This covers the costs of accidents at work. It is the insurance company who would pay the compensation, so your employer would not be directly out of pocket.
How We Can Help
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes crush accident at work claims. Contact us by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.