Family compensated after engineer’s death caused by unsafe work practices31 July 2012
Crushed by machine in work
The family of an engineer who died in a workplace accident has received £412,500 after help from his trade union.
The 43-year-old from Lincolnshire died after being crushed by the machine he was trying to fix.
He had entered the machine having operated the safety stop devices when without warning the machine moved and part of it descended onto his chest.
His colleagues and fire fighters worked to free him but he died from his injuries.
Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation
Following his death his family were supported in their claim for compensation by his trade union, Unite the Union and its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors.
Investigations by Thompsons found that an engineer at the company had previously attempted to fix the machine in the same way and had himself narrowly avoided being hurt in the same manner. The incident was never reported and staff weren’t warned about the danger.
Following the Unite member’s death the HSE prosecuted and fined his employer £112,000 after it admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
It also admitted liability and settled the family’s claim out of court.
Previous accident should have been reported and safety checks made
Peter Kavanagh from Unite the Union said: “Compensation will never make up for this family’s loss of a father and husband but we hope it can provide some sense of justice. Our member was a dedicated employee and an experienced engineer. The previous incident should have shocked the employers into action and even basic lessons learned from it might have saved our member’s life. We trust lessons have not only been learned here but elsewhere where this machinery is in use.”
Allison Fitchett from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This has been a very difficult time for the family and we hope that the end of the litigation will help them to start the next stage in the process of their grief.
“This employer had no set guidance for reporting incidents in the factory. The very fact that another worker had narrowly escaped a similar fate just a few weeks earlier should have rung significant alarm bells. If the previous accident had been reported and safety checks made this young family would not be left without their dad.”
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