Make Safety At Work Top Priority, Says Lawyer

Serious Brain Injury At Work

09.09.2010

A leading Scottish lawyer has urged employers to make sure safety is always their top priority after a man suffered a serious brain injury whilst working.

The warning from Elaine Russell, partner and work accident specialist at the Glasgow office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, comes as the Health and Safety Executive fined a company for breach of duty after a 49-year-old man was left brain damaged by a falling saw in 2007.

The man was delivering the saws to the Saw Centre in Eglinton Street, Glasgow when one fell off the vehicle, hitting him on the head.

His West Yorkshire-based employer, Joda Freight Limited was fined £5,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court, which found that the company did not did not have a reliable system of communication in place to make sure their drivers were informed about the securing and stability of loads.

Elaine Russell said: "Businesses may feel as though their current priority should be making ends meet and protecting their bottom line – but their duty to protect their workers never goes away and should remain their top priority.

"A man has been left permanently brain damaged, not because procedures weren't followed, but because they hadn't been installed in the first place. Unfortunately this is not an unusual situation – everyday we deal with people whose lives have been devastated by the effects of accidents at work, which could easily have been prevented by maintaining good health and safety practices.

"We welcome the HSE's investigation into this matter and hope that lessons can be learnt to prevent further suffering, though sadly no fine will ever demonstrate the devastating impact this injury will have on the employee's life."