05 August 2014
Injured Worker Suffers Psychologically
An Employee, James Abrahams, had been walking alongside a forklift truck to steady a pallet of fencing at the company’s base in Mansfield Lane, Calverton, when the accident happened. He was run over by the truck.
A Nottingham Timber company has been fined £15,000 after a worker was injured in July 2012. On Friday, 1st August 2014 Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard guilty pleas on behalf of the company to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Mr Abrahams, 21, spent 12 days in hospital and was unable to work for a number of months after the accident on July 30, 2012. He suffered leg fractures, broken and dislocated toes and deep grazing. The psychological effect of the accident was severe.
At District Judge Tim Devas fined company director Mr Walker £10,000, after he failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees and an additional £5,000 fine was issued on the second charge, where he failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the health and safety risks which employees were exposed to in relation to the pallets. Costs of £9,850 were ordered to be paid and a £120 victim surcharge at the hearing
Judge Devas noted that there were aggravating features in the case such as the obvious risk that this activity caused and the fact that it was not an isolated incident. He noted that there was no proper risk assessment, and a lack of training. He also took into account the age of Mr Abrahams and that his injury appeared to have no long-lasting physical effect but had impacted psychologically. Mr Abrahams resigned from his job last year due to anxiety and nervousness as he could no longer bear to work with vehicles.
This work accident could so easily have been a fatality and it was entirely preventable. Vehicles at work are a major cause of fatal and severe injuries with more than 5,000 incidents involving workplace transport every year. The psychological effect can be long lasting. It should not be forgotten that this element of damage is compensable in just the same way as the physical injury. Additionally, rehabilitation, as part of a compensation claim, can assist in providing counselling therapy alongside physiotherapy.
Here at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, rehabilitation is one of the first things we look to assist with. In a recent personal injury case, rehabilitation providers were engaged after meeting with the claimant and he was fast tracked through to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to assist him trying to overcome the devastating effects of his injuries. Now better able to focus on his future, he is considering his capacity to return to employment, which is additionally improving his mood and his outlook for the future.
Tracey Graham is a Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.
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