Construction injury

Mother and daughter compensated following fatal workplace accident

Jonathan Herbert, specialist personal injury lawyer, successfully obtained undisclosed damages to compensate the family and dependants of a tree surgeon who was fatally injured in an accident at work.

The deceased was undertaking tree surgery working from a climbing rope using a chainsaw to cut branches.  The chainsaw came into contact with his neck, causing a fatal wound. The cause of the accident was either a cut branch flicking back up towards the deceased, hitting the chainsaw and knocking it into his neck or he may have slipped in the tree as a result of the soles of his boots being smooth.

It was alleged on behalf of the dependants that the deceased’s employer failed to:

  • ensure that suitable personal protective equipment was provided to the deceased, negligently and contrary to Regulation 4(1) of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992;
  • make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of the deceased, negligently and contrary to Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999;
  • ensure that the said work at height was carried out in a manner which was safe, negligently and contrary to Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005;
  • provide a mobile elevated working platform or cherry picker for the deceased’s use;
  • ensure that the said pruning work was undertaken with a hand saw rather than with a chainsaw;
  • ensure that the deceased wore boots with ample grip on the soles;
  • provide a high collared jacket for the deceased’s use;
  • ensure that the said cut branch was cleared away from the deceased’s work area prior to the said accident;
  • devise and operate a safe system of work.

The defendant’s insurer agreed to settle the claim.  As the deceased’s daughter was under the age of eighteen, court approval of the proposed settlement was required.  Jonathan represented the deceased’s daughter at a hearing when the court agreed that the proposed settlement was in the best interests of the family and dependants and approved the settlement.

Jonathan Herbert specialises in claims involving injuries sustained in the workplace.  If you would like to ask him a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact him at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.

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