Friday, April 05, 2013
Trade Union support, legal expertise help man injured at work on two occasions
Digby Brown represented a long term employee at a Scottish timber yard. In May 2011 , he was working with equipment provided by his employer. Unexpectedly the equipment fell apart causing injury to his head and neck.
In October 2011, the same individual was again injured when he fell in a pothole in the yard surface, injuring his ankle. The yard surface had been in a state of disrepair for several months, a problem which was known to the employer. Both incidents were witnessed by colleagues and recorded in the accident book.
After two accidents in such a short space of time, the individual decided pursue a claim for compensation. Despite a series of recent claims against the yard from other employees, the employer simply ignored his claim, perhaps assuming that he did not have the resources to take formal legal action. money or support to raise a Court action.
This individual was able to make a claim for compensation of his membership of the GMB Scotland Trades Union and access to full legal representation and funding through Digby Brown. We raised court proceedings on his behalf. Throughout the action , the defending employer failed to engage constructively with the legal process.
The claim was heard in court in March 2013. Having fully investigated, Digby Brown was able to call a number of witnesses to the court to support both of our client’s claims. The court found that he had been injured at work through no fault of his own and awarded him over £4,000 in compensation.
AITK89/1 and AITK90/1
Compensation after slipping injury is caused by lack of proper footwear
In December 2011, during severe winter weather, Mr X was sent by his employer, a local authority, to work outside collecting refuse bins. Due to the poor conditions he slipped and fell sustaining injuries to his back.
The weather might be outside of anyone’s control, but that does not mean employers shouldn't take positive action to protect employees, especially those performing an important public service. With the support of GMB Scotland and Digby Brown, Mr X raised a claim against the council, arguing that had he been provided with suitable footwear for his work, his accident would not have occurred.
Despite having to work in some of the worst winter weather in Scotland for a number of years, the local authority's solicitors argued that our clients normal boots where more than sufficient and no extra effort was required by them to secure their employee’s safety. With liability for the accident denied, Digby Brown raised court proceedings. Our specialist personal injury solicitors were able to confirm not only the availability of specialist winter footwear but that the Council had even trailed such footwear before our client’s accident but failed to provide it to their staff.
Expert evidence allowed us to build a strong case for our client and successfully settle his case for over £5,000.
Employee protection law invoked on behalf of cleaner injured at work
Mrs B was working at a school as a cleaner. As she attempted to make her way though a security door, the door jammed and Mrs B walked into it. She sustained a cut to her nose resulting in permanent scarring.
Although liability for the accident was denied, Digby Brown were happy that legislation in force specifically to protect employees at work would allow Mrs B to recover compensation and pursued the case accordingly. The school's insurance company settled Mrs B's case for £3,500.