The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) successful prosecution of Ebac Limited at Darlington Magistrates Court highlights the inadequacies of sanctions from the Criminal Courts where Serious Injuries to employees are sustained in work accidents.
Mr John Calcutt, an employee of Ebac Limited, suffered serious burns to his face, hands and arms when he was hit by hot liquid plastic as it was ejected from a large plastic injection moulding machine in September 2013.
The tragedy surrounding this case is that Mr Calcutt and his colleagues were attempting to clean a blockage to get the machine working, to presumably improve productivity for the employers, but had not received any training in relation to the task in hand nor were they provided with any form of eye or face protection.
This is a clear case of a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which the company Ebac Limited pleaded guilty to. However the sanction of a £7,500 fine, £710.10 in costs and a £750 victim surcharge is not a sufficient punishment or deterrent to prevent future work accidents from occurring.
Had a suitable and adequate risk assessment taken place to ensure work could be undertaken safely with appropriate face protection provided, this work accident could have been avoided.
One hopes that Mr Calcutt, who has bravely returned to work, is appropriately compensated as part of his civil claim against his employers to include compensation for injuries, pain, suffering and loss of amenity, loss of earnings, repayment of out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of his injuries; as well as a sum to represent the help provided to him by loved ones, during his recovery and rehabilitation.
Slater and Gordon are a nationwide personal injury law firm with offices across England, Scotland & Wales and offer a free consultation for people injured in accidents through no fault of their own.
Call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.