A Glasgow-based construction firm has been fined following the death of a worker after he was crushed when a 1.6-tonne frame fell on him.
Daniel Hurley had been working with machinery near an area where the structural steelwork for a stair tower was being erected on the site. The Court heard that not long after the steel frame had been erected it began to tilt and fall towards Mr Hurley. Three of the anchor bolts that were supposed to support the structure came out of the ground, with the fourth being snapped in half.
Mr Hurley attempted to run away from the falling framework but was struck in the neck by the level of the structure. Despite receiving treatment at the scene, Mr Hurley died of his injuries.
It is understood that bolts supporting the framework were the main reason for it collapsing, with some of the bolts being so poorly installed that it was possible to remove them by hand. The HSE investigators at the scene were able to remove the bolts from concrete by hand, with inspectors ruling that the bolts had not been installed correctly or checked following their installation.
The court was told that the steel fabrication company sub-contracted to design the steelwork and a second company commissioned to erect it were at fault, but both had both ceased trading. Morris and Spottiswood, who employed the contractors have since been fined for the incident, with the Court ruling that they effectively failed in their duty of care for Mr Hurley. HSE Inspector Gerard McCulloch, said: “Morris & Spottiswood Ltd as principal contractor, and the two companies sub-contracted for the steelwork construction, had duties to work together to plan, manage and monitor the work to ensure it was carried out safely.
“It is clear all three companies failed in this duty, and it was these failings that led to the tragic death of Mr Hurley.”
Sadly, accidents in the workplace are still a common issue in the UK, with thousands of people severely injured each year as a result of such types of incidents. Despite success in lowering the number of fatalities in the last 40 years, last year saw 42 people lose their life as a result of accidents in the workplace.
Serious accidents can result in life-changing injuries, a significant loss of income and even death. Despite an emphasis on health and safety at work, many employers are still failing to properly protect employees in the workplace. Such failings can result in more serious injuries in the workplace. There were an estimated 2.3 million working days lost in 2013/14 as a result of accidents in the workplace, 1.7 million due to ill health and 592 000 due to workplace injury. In total, the number of accidents costs society over £1 billion. Areas such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing remain some of the areas with the highest likelihood of serious accidents or fatalities. Despite the incidents, figures in the last year from the Health and Safety Executive show that there has been a 19% decrease in the number of fatalities.
Even if you work in a relatively safe environment your employer still has a duty of care to you and other members of staff. Although health and safety procedures are in place, many still evade spending on proper safety equipment.
Your employer has a duty of care to all employees regardless of your workplace environment, even if you work in area of low risk, there are still precautions that must be taken to ensure that all workers are safe. There are strict laws in place to protect workers that employers must abide by to ensure employee safety. One of these is that employers must provide adequate equipment for all staff and ensure that health and safety procedures are maintained. The law states that equipment must be suitable for the intended purpose in the work environment. Equipment must be maintained and kept in an efficient state with a failure to do so leaving workers exposed to accidents in the workplace and leaving them open to legal action. Employers must ensure that employees have also been trained in the use of such equipment and that it is fit for purpose.
If you have been involved in an accident in the workplace that was not your fault, you will be able to make a claim for compensation. If you have suffered an injury in the workplace as a result of negligence or lack of health and safety equipment or through no fault of your own, our team of solicitors can help. At Lawford Kidd, we understand the difficulties that can emerge from taking any legal action especially if it is against your employer. However, your job will not be at risk, or else your employer will face an unfair dismissal case. If you have been injured and been unable to live your life normally or suffered a loss of earnings as a result, can you afford to not hold those responsible to account or claim compensation?
At Lawford Kidd, we operate on a no win, no fee basis meaning that you will not be charged for any of the legal advice or representation you receive. We will only take a minimal success fee if we manage to win you the compensation you deserve following an accident. We believe that this no win, no fee policy provides our customers with peace of mind and ensures that action can be taken to hold those accountable regardless of background or cost. To make a claim, our team of solicitors will need to have as much evidence regarding the event as possible. Our customer service team will inform you of everything our personal injury solicitors need in order to build a strong case.
If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. To find out if you can make a claim or to get legal proceedings underway, contact our expert team today using our online contact form.