Businesses Warned About Importance of Basic Health and Safety17 November 2008
Accident at work
Unite the union is calling for businesses to make sure their staff are fully informed of the health and safety risks of a job when it is new to them.
The call comes after Unite member Kenneth Blair from Oldham was knocked off a ladder when working on a piece of machinery at Trinity Mirror’s printing press in Oldham for the first time.
The accident left Kenneth with a broken wrist and he has since had to retire from printing on the advice of his consultant.
Following the accident Kenneth had three operations on his wrist including a bone graft from his hip and the insertion of a metal plate.
Kenneth, 58, worked as a reelman for Trinity Mirror for 18 years on presses 7, 8 and 9.
On the night of the accident he was told to work on press 5, but although this was his first time on the press he was not given any briefing about health and safety on equipment, which he discovered to his cost, had a different system to those he was used to.
Knocked over by an automated guided battery forklift truck (AGV)
When he set up a ladder to fix a problem with the press it was knocked over by an automated guided battery forklift truck (AGV) throwing Kenneth to the floor.
It was normal on other areas of the press for the AGV to sense the presence of the ladder but Kenneth was not told that it worked differently on press 5.
Following the accident Kenneth contacted his union Unite who instructed their lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim.
Trinity Mirror settled the claim for £140,000, accepting 85% liability and has now reviewed its health and safety protocol.
Kenneth said: “I worked for 18 years for Trinity Mirror and I enjoyed my job. I have a new wife and young children to support but I can no longer earn an income. I’m angry that I have been put in this position. I should have been warned about the risks involved.”
Unite regional secretary for the North West, Kevin Coyne said: “It is vital businesses have very clear health and safety procedures in place in the workplace and that staff are briefed before they start work on a job that is new to them.
“If Kenneth had been given even the simplest of briefings on the machinery this accident would never have happened.”
Rebecca Clare from Thompsons Manchester office added: “Mr Blair had to suffer a very serious injury before proper systems were put in place to ensure the health and safety of employees.
“We are pleased we have been able to settle this claim on behalf of Mr Blair and Unite but it would have been better for everyone if a basic briefing system had been in place.”
Injured at work? Contact us for expert advice on workplace accident compensation claims.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury in an accident at work, our specialist workplace accident solicitors are on hand to help you make a claim.
Our experts will explain the process in plain English, and discuss whether you are eligible to make a claim for compensation.
We have significant unrivalled experience of winning workplace accident and injury claims and will provide a no obligation assessment of your circumstances.
Time limits of three years from the date of accident or injury apply, so contact us for advice today.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.