Mr Rajesh Dhami, a production operator from Harrogate, has been awarded £6,500 after slipping on some ice outside his workplace. It was a snowy evening in February when Mr Dhami was on a break at work. For his break he walked to the staff canteen in the main building next door. The snow had been falling for approximately 2 hours prior and although his employer had cleared snow and ice from the car park they failed to clear walkways and fire exits. The snow was approximately 3-4cm deep and the top layer was quite soft due to the recent snowfall but underneath there was icy snow. Mr Dhami therefore ensured that he tread with caution on the walkway towards the canteen.
After Mr Dhami had finished his break he began to head back towards the building in which he worked. He took 2 or 3 steps on the walkway when suddenly without warning his right foot slipped forward and he couldn’t stop himself from falling. Mr Dhami fell straight onto his back and hit his head on the floor despite making his best efforts to avoid this by bending it forwards as he fell. Also, in doing this Mr Dhami felt his neck lock and it became terribly stiff and painful. He managed to get himself off the ground and went inside to report his accident to his co-workers as well as to receive first aid and medical assistance.
A colleague of Mr Dhami’s drove him to the nearest hospital where he waited in the A&E department for 4 hours. In this time, a nurse gave him some painkillers but he had not yet been seen by a Doctor. After a long wait, another nurse came into the waiting room and advised all patients to either go to another hospital in the area or a walk-in centre instead otherwise they would have to wait yet another 4 hours in order to be seen.
Mr Dhami decided to go home and his girlfriend came to pick him up from the hospital. The next day Mr Dhami went to the Accident and Emergency department of a different hospital and after a 2hr wait he was examined by a Doctor. The Doctor told Mr Dhami that he had a whiplash type injury and he prescribed him more painkillers and advised him to rest.
Due to his accident Mr Dhami had to stay off work for a month and suffered with painful neck locks as well as headaches and stiffness. He had to make numerous trips to the hospital and his GP where he was advised to continue with pain medication which at one point included Diazepam.
Mr Dhami was unable to enjoy his usual activities such as going to the gym and his girlfriend had to do most of the household chores and weekly shop of which he would usually have helped with. Mr Dhami still suffers from a painful stiff feeling in his neck as well as shoulder tiredness and headaches. Mr Dhami began a course of physiotherapy sessions and has been given some neck exercises to complete at home.
Due to his accident Mr Dhami has experienced prolonged pain and suffering. It was his employer’s responsibility to ensure that the working area was safe and free from any dangers which could cause their employees harm. Unfortunately on this occasion, Mr Dhami was injured as a result of his employer’s negligence and failure to have and implement an effective snow clearing policy, particularly in respect of traffic routes in the workplace. They unfortunately prioritised the clearance of a carpark instead of walkways and fire exits. His employer strongly denied all responsibility for the accident for a few years, causing him to challenge his employer’s position and issue proceedings and progress his claim through court directions. Then just over a month away from a trial date, a settlement was agreed and he was therefore awarded £6,500 thanks to the persistence and hard work carried out by Zaynab Awan at Express Solicitors and counsel, Michael Smith of Kenworthy’s Chambers.
If you have suffered from an injury 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 please call 0800 158 5274.