22 November 2012
Serious burns to lead to compensation claim?
Compensation could be sought by a man who has not yet been able to return to his job nearly two years after an accident at work left him with serious injuries.
The unnamed professional and a colleague both sustained severe burns to their faces while working for Surrey-based firm 1st Surface in Bromley in January 2011.
At the time of this incident, the pair were helping in a project to extend and resurface a tennis court at a private property and had to clear an area of overgrown garden before the job could begin.
Despite gathering enough waste to fill five skips, the men had not been given any instructions on where or how they should dispose of it and therefore decided to use an old air raid shelter as a makeshift furnace to burn some of it away.
The workers believed this to be a good idea because the building had been earmarked for demolition and they entered the shelter through a chimney on its roof.
They got the fire started with kindling and petrol, but the fuel vapour that had accumulated in the structure subsequently exploded while the duo were still standing on the roof.
Due to the force of this reaction, the men were thrown off their feet and sustained facial burns serious enough to warrant them being kept in hospital for several days.
While one of the employees went back to work after a few weeks, the other is not yet fit to return to his job.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that 1st Surface failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment on the job prior to the project starting.
Kerry Williams, inspector at the watchdog, commented: "This incident could easily have been prevented with a minimal amount of planning and preparation."
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Posted by Trusha Vyas