Matthew Cooper, a driver and drainage engineer, from Derby has been awarded £13,500 after a nasty accident at work left him with a permanent scar on one of his legs as well as a soft tissue injury to his foot.
Mr Cooper worked for a liquid waste company and his daily activities included driving small tankers and cleaning sewers. On the day of the accident, Mr Cooper was asked to attend a job, but he was not told what it entailed until he got there. When Mr Cooper arrived at the location he was told that he would be helping to remove a temporary road that had been put in place. A sewer had been installed in a field so a temporary road had been set up to let tankers gain easy access. The road was made up of a number of connected strong plastic panels which the team were instructed to remove. Mr Cooper was a little apprehensive as he had never done this type of work before and had never received any training as to how to undertake the job properly.
Mr Cooper was instructed to lift the plastic panels (each weighting approximately 35kg) and place them onto pallets which would then be lifted into a lorry. There was a great deal of pressure put onto the team removing the road to get it done as fast as possible since the liquid waste company were renting the plastic panels and wanted to return them quickly in order to reduce its cost.
The team began to load the plastic panels onto the pallets in order to remove the temporary road and it was when they were loading the third pallet that the accident happened. Once the pallet was full of plastic panels a hook mechanism would lift the pallet onto the lorry. As the pallet was being lifted in the air there was a loud cracking noise, this was the pallet splitting. The heavy plastic panels then fell to the ground, hitting Mr Cooper’s left leg and foot.
Mr Cooper noticed that his leg was bleeding and he tried to get up from the ground but couldn’t put weight onto his left leg and foot because of the intense pain. One of Mr Cooper’s colleagues immediately drove him to hospital where he was sent for an x-ray. Fortunately Mr Cooper did not sustain any breaks or fractures however he was told the laceration on his leg could not be stitched as it was on his shin area. The laceration was consequently cleaned up and bandaged. Mr Cooper was told to refrain from putting any pressure onto his leg; he was also informed that due the accident there was soft tissue damage to his foot.
A few days after the accident, Mr Cooper went to see his GP over concerns that he had no feeling in his left leg. The doctor ensured him that the feeling would eventually return but it was impossible to know when this would happen. Mr Cooper was still unable to put any weight onto his foot as he was in a lot of pain.
Altogether it took one month for Mr Cooper’s injuries to settle, and he still continues to experience no feeling around the scar area where the plastic panels struck his leg. Mr Cooper has residual discomfort when putting direct weight on his foot and it also is more painful in colder weather. Mr Cooper has been left with a large permanent scar on his left shin and he had to take time off work for a period of 6 weeks.
Mr Cooper has been awarded £13,500 in compensation for the pain and suffering he has experienced as a result of his accident, thanks to the work by Kate Sanderson, at Express Solicitors. Mr Cooper’s employers had the responsibility of ensuring that their employees’ working environment was safe and free from any dangers or obstructions that could cause them harm. The liquid waste company failed to risk asses the job to remove the road and provided Mr Cooper with no training of how to complete it. It is for these reasons that they were found liable for the injuries sustained by Mr Cooper.
If you have suffered from injuries due to an accident at work that was through no fault of your own you may be entitled to financial compensation. For free legal advice from a specialist Employer’s Liability solicitor, and help with making your claim call Express Solicitors on 0800 158 5274.