Electrocution at work
A Sheffield man has been awarded a substantial amount in an out-of-court settlement by his former employers after he was electrocuted at work leading to serious and painful permanent injuries.
Richard Bell, 34, of Sheffield, suffered severe burns to his left hand and foot, a fracture to the right foot, damage to his mouth and lacerations to his scalp along with psychological injury, whilst working for Corus Engineering Steels Limited as a Mechanical Technician at their Spring Bank Department in Stocksbridge.
Accident at work solicitors
His payout was secured with help from Associate Solicitor Sally Rissbrook of personal injury experts Irwin Mitchell, based at the firms Riverside offices in Sheffield, his claim being settled just a week before trial after Corus admitted full liability.
Mr Bell had worked for the company as a Mechanical Technician for 13 years. On attending work that day he was informed the ultrasonic inspection tank was in need of repair. Mr Bell identified a fault with the gearbox and the Assistant Technician isolated the machine whilst Mr Bell obtained his tools. For his own safety Mr Bell also removed 2 cables from the machine which act as a local isolation of the gearbox. Mr Bell was then lying on his stomach inside the machine whilst working on the gearbox. He had to reach behind him and in doing so placed his hand on a piece of equipment which should have been isolated but was not, causing the electrocution.
Mr Bell remembers little of the accident, he says, "I was told that I had to be pulled from the machine by a work colleague who found me lying down inside the machine moaning, at which point I was rushed to hospital."
Injuries and compensation from electrocution at work
The severity of my injuries meant that I had to undergo skin grafts to my left hand and then underwent physiotherapy, counselling and psychological treatment. I have been left with permanent scars to my left hand.
Mr Bell has impaired co-ordination, strength and sensation to the left hand as a result of nerve injury. Due to the severity of the psychological injuries, Mr Bell has had to change his area of employment in order to avoid working with electrical machinery.
Mr Bell confirmed that "I am now doing well in my new job; however, I have had to take a huge step in changing my position of employment as I cannot work with electrical machinery any longer. It has been a difficult transition but things are starting to look up. I have set up Bells Salvage which deals with the sale of accident-damaged vehicles and things are going well."
Electrocution compensation claim
Commenting on the payment, Miss Rissbrook said: Mr Bell was involved in an extremely frightening accident which could have been avoided. In this case the company did not take sufficient care in ensuring that all electrical equipment was isolated. The fact that the Defendants admitted liability was clearly good news. However, companies need to ensure that the safety of their employees is never overlooked as terrifying accidents such as this can quite easily be avoided.