Worker compensated for punctured lung after health and safety standards slip18 June 2013
Broken ribs and a punctured lung after accident at work
A 64 year old GMB member who was left with broken ribs and a punctured lung after his employer failed to comply with workplace health and safety regulations has been compensated for his injuries.
Terrence Featherstone, from Ilkeston in Derbyshire was working as a production operative for Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd at the time of the accident.
He had used the onsite shower facilities at the Stanton by Dale base of the concrete piping and manhole manufacturer after his shift and was walking to the changing area when the incident occurred.
The smooth concrete floor between the shower and changing area was wet and had not been made slip-resistant. Mr Featherstone fell backwards heavily onto nearby concrete steps, leaving him with multiple cracked ribs and a punctured lung.
Obvious source of potential accidents
Despite being an obvious source of potential accidents, the surface of the steps hadn’t been covered with slip-resistant materials and Terrence was awarded £10,000 in damages for the injuries he sustained.
He said: “I used the showers at work regularly and was always careful on the wet surfaces but on the day of my accident they must have been more slippery than usual because I completely lost my footing.
“It seems like such a small thing to have taken care of, just some non-slip mats but my employers completely overlooked them and I paid the price with a punctured lung and cracked ribs.
“There’s a lot of focus on making sure people have the right protective gear in the workplace and while this is obviously very important, employers need to make sure they don’t let the small things slide too.”
Health and safety at work is not a trivial matter
Claire White from Thompsons Solicitors, who was instructed by the GMB to represent Mr Featherstone said: “Health and safety at work is not a trivial matter.
“There is a tendency sometimes to make light of slips and trips and say they’re to blame for a supposed ‘compensation culture’ but clearly one small slip can cause serious damage, as Terrence knows only too well.”
Andy Worth from the GMB said: “The government is taking steps to undermine these types of claims and make it more difficult for injured employees to take action against negligent employers. We’re committed to making sure that health and safety legislation sticks and that our members are supported throughout the process.”
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