Companies are legally obliged to protect their workers from unnecessary risks and when they fail to do this, they can find themselves subject to personal injury compensation claims.
One building contractor who recently found himself in this position was Alaister Copland, who was trading as Do it Al when an agency worker was fatally injured while performing his role.
In November 2008, father and son Stephen and Jamie Ford were helping to demolish a barn at Dunbury Farmhouse. Jamie was using a hand tool to break a wall when a piece came down and struck his father on the head. He died at the scene.
A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither man was wearing a hard hat. Also, no plan for the demolition was in place and Mr Copland had no experience in work of this kind.
In cases like this, the families of the deceased often make a personal injury claim. While this cannot undo the harm caused, it can help relatives achieve a sense of justice.
Commenting on the incident, HSE inspector Helena Tinton said: "This is a tragic case which clearly demonstrates the dangers of carrying out demolition work without suitable planning. There were multiple failings with this project. In addition to having no written plan for the demolition work, there was inadequate supervision and no-one on site wore head protection.”
She added that the work should have been conducted remotely using machinery with clearly marked exclusion zones set up.
In relation to the accident, Mr Copland was fined a total of £10,000 and he was ordered to pay compensation to the family of £2,390.
These days, when people want to make a personal injury claim without risking their personal finances, they can choose to pursue personal injury compensation on a no win no fee basis.
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