A worker was nearly crushed by a bale of cardboard when the stack he was walking past fell without warning. He was trapped until colleagues could remove the bale and was afraid he was going to die. As a result of this devastating accident he suffered multiple fractures requiring seven operations as well as post traumatic stress disorder. He sustained a minor head injury and was fortunate to not have suffered a more severe injury.
Our client has fortunately made a good recovery from many of his injuries, but continued to have difficulties with his right ankle and experiences chronic pain. Irwin Mitchell has been able to assist in providing rehabilitation. He is now able to walk unaided, albeit with a slight limp. He is now ready to re-enter the workforce, although in a more sedentary role than he held previously.
The new machine to bale the cardboard had been brought in only one month before and no method statements had been shared with employees. Under instruction from management the bales of cardboard had been stacked four high reaching 16ft. The bales weighed between 400kg and 500kg each.
Sally Rissbrook of Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Accidents at Work team said, “This case illustrates the importance of safe working practices and proper risk assessments. The bales represented a clear risk to health and safety of workers and proper consideration was not given to how to minimise that risk.”
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