Work 'accident waiting to happen' fractured employee's skull

Fractured skull to lead to compensation claim 2723

Compensation may be sought by a man who sustained a serious head injury during an accident at work.

The unnamed employee suffered a fractured skull when he was hit by a steel beam while working for United Milking Systems at Brookley Meadows Farm in Derbyshire in July last year.

The 49-year-old man had only started his job with the Shropshire-based firm one day earlier and was hurt after being asked to assist an experienced engineer on a project to install a new milking parlour at the farm.

This work involved putting four steel beams each weighing around 80kgs in place two metres above ground level and the two employees attempted to do this by holding the beams up and placing them on a wall bracket by using a stepladder.

However, an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that one of the pieces slipped out of place and subsequently hit the man on the head, causing him serious cuts as well as a fractured skull.

During a case heard at Derby Magistrates' Court, the HSE insisted the incident could have been prevented if United Milking Systems had put proper plans in place and provided the duo with suitable lifting equipment.

The firm admitted breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was issued with a fine of £7,500, meaning the injured employee, who was off work for six weeks due to his head injuries, may now start a claim for compensation.

Edward Walker, inspector at the HSE, said this was an accident waiting to happen due to the failings of United Milking Systems.

"The company failed to plan the work properly and failed to assess the risks associated with the task, such as manual handling or falling objects," he added. 

"As a consequence, they didn't take any steps to reduce the risks through providing appropriate equipment and training."

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801439733-ADNFCR