Factory worker receives damages after burn injury20 April 2010
Burned in Accident at Work
Scott Harper, 33, from St Neots in Cambridgeshire was left with a six by three inch scar across his forearm after the accident while working as a shift leader for food packaging manufacturer Sealed Air Limited.
He was adjusting bolts on a machine when the allen key he was using slipped causing him to fall onto a hot part of the machine, burning his left bicep and forearm.
Fortunately he didn’t need to take any time off work but was left with an unsightly red scar which took months to heal. During that time he was unable to wear long sleeved tops because it was so painful.
Injury left large scar
Mr Harper said: “I’ve been left with a large scar on my arm which was extremely painful for many months before it healed. I now use Bio Oil to try to reduce the scarring but it is still very visible and people ask me about it. I decided to claim compensation because I felt strongly that had I been provided with proper work wear that this could have been avoided.”
Following the accident he contacted his union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors.
Thompsons found Mr Harper was provided with inadequate heat resistant gloves. The gloves had protective sleeves but these were prone to fall down easily leaving employees’ arms exposed.
The law firm argued that he should have been given full protective clothing which would have guarded his body against the extremely hot machinery.
Employers admitted liability and settled claim
Sealed Air Limited admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.
Andy Worth from the GMB said: “Factories can be dangerous places and steps must be taken to protect workers from hazards. Mr Harper has been fortunate that he did not need to take time off as a result of his accident but he must now live with scarring on his arm for the rest of his life because of his employer’s lax health and safety procedures.”
Ranjit Sond from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Employers have a duty to ensure suitable personal protective equipment is provided to employees. In this case, although protective gloves were provided they were unsuitable to the job in hand.”
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