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Features

Cancer cause 
Your cancer may be 100 per cent caused by your job, but a dodgy numbers game played by industry and the courts means in most cases your employer will not bear the cost. Hazards challenges a system that means when it comes to compensation, most cancers don’t count.
Hazards 130, April-June 2015

Mean test
For seven of the top 10 entries on the official UK occupational cancer risk ranking, you can forget about government payouts. Professor Andy Watterson and Hazards editor Rory O’Neill argue that an unjust state compensation scheme means most conditions, including breast cancers linked to shiftwork, will never overcome an arbitrary double-the-risk qualification hurdle and call for reform of this ailing system.
Hazards 129, January-March 2015

Robbed!
Compensation culture? I don’t think so. The government may want you to believe we are a nation of greedy money grabbing chancers, says Hazards editor Rory O’Neill, but claims figures tell a different story. Even those dying of occupational diseases have precious little chance of securing a payout.
Hazards 122, April-June 2013

More features

Resources

Britain: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit - a TUC guide
The TUC has published a short guide to the government’s Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme, which covers both injuries and certain occupational diseases caused by work, including occupational asthma, deafness and vibration disease, and some dust diseases, strain injuries and occupational cancers.
TUC publication notice and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit - a TUC guide. Risks 679

News

Britain: College pays out for stressing out lecturer
A college lecturer has been awarded £159,000 in damages in a stress compensation case against Bradford College. The judge at Bradford County Court found that art and design lecturer Kate Rawnsley suffered depression and anxiety resulting from the negligence of her employer.
UCU news release. Risks 824. 4 November 2017

Britain: Government can no longer count compensation claims
The government has admitting it no longer has “the expertise” to monitor the number of work-related injury and occupational disease claims. Insurance law firm Weightmans, who produce an annual report on the level of personal injury claims in the UK, disclosed that its annual Freedom of Information request to the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) for the number of personal injury claims this year “was declined on the basis that ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’ they ‘no longer have the expertise in the Compensation Recovery Unit to produce robust data’.”
Weightmans news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 810. 29 July 2017

Britain: China clay worker killed by dust exposure
The family of a former clay dryer who died of an occupational dust disease four years ago has received a five-figure compensation settlement. Walter Patton, from St Austell, died aged 83 in February 2013, with an inquest into this death finding his death was a result of kaolin pneumoconiosis linked to his employment at English Clays’ Lovering Pochin & Company (ECLP), latterly known as Imerys Minerals Ltd.
Irwin Mitchell news release. Cornwall Live. Risks 804. 17 June 2017

Britain: Disinfectant made 22 hospital cleaners sick
Cleaners who fell ill at a Torquay hospital after being exposed to a hazardous disinfectant have been awarded £70,000 in damages. The 22 cleaning staff, all members of the public service union UNISON working for the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, began using Actichlor seven years ago, and experienced runny eyes, nose sores, and wheezing coughs.
UNISON news release. Devon Live. Risks 793. 25 March 2017

Britain: New push for justice for injured workers
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is urging the government not to restrict access to justice for victims of workplace accidents or diseases. Speaking ahead of the union’s lobby of parliament on 22 March 2017, Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said doubling the ‘small claims’ definition to £2,000 would mean many injured workers were denied justice, as these claims do not quality for legal costs.
Usdaw news release. Risks 792. 18 March 2017

Britain: TUC dismay as government hits injured workers with legal costs
The TUC has criticised government plans to stop injured workers from reclaiming their legal costs in compensation cases against negligent employers worth under £2,000. The union body warns that the Ministry of Justice proposals, included in its Prisons and Courts Bill, will force many workers, including those on low incomes, to pay for legal advice when seeking compensation for workplace injuries or work-related ill-health.
TUC news release. Ministry of Justice webpages on the Prisons and Courts Bill. APIL news release. Morning Star.
The union effect: How unions make a difference to health and safety, TUC. Risks 790. 4 March 2017

Britain: High Court rules on mesothelioma ‘lost years’ 
A High Court ruling could mean higher payouts for the dependants of people who die from work diseases. Lawyer Harminder Bains said: “This judgment should mean fairer compensation for anyone diagnosed with a life shortening illness, or who has suffered a severe injury, and are faced with the choice of whether to bring claims in their lifetimes, or after their death via their estates.”
Leigh Day news release and the full judgment. Risks 788. 18 February 2017

Britain: Usdaw warning on dangerous compensation reforms
Proposed changes to compensation law aimed at cutting whiplash claims will have a devastating effect on injured workers and workplace safety, the retail union Usdaw has warned. Echoing warnings from the TUC, other unions, personal injury lawyers and occupational disease victims’ advocates, the union said lifting the small claims ceiling from £1,000 to £5,000 would price many occupational disease victims out of justice.
Usdaw news release. Risks 788. 18 February 2017

Britain: Gangmasters settle modern slavery claim
Kent-based gangmaster DJ Houghton Chicken Catching Services has agreed to a landmark settlement worth more than £1m in compensation and legal costs for a group of migrants who were trafficked to work on farms producing eggs for high street brands. The deal reached with six Lithuanian chicken catchers is the first settlement of a claim against a British company in relation to modern slavery, and came after the group became frustrated at the lack of a criminal prosecution.
Leigh Day news release. The Guardian. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Britain: Blade slashes worker’s hand
A worker who suffered a deep laceration injury and nerve damage to his right hand has secured £75,000 in damages in a Unite-backed claim. Tool prep technician Marc Jobes was talking to a colleague in the tool room at Kobusch UK Ltd’s food packaging factory near Stanley, County Durham, when he lost his balance and put his hand on a work bench to steady himself, cutting himself on blades left on the work surface.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Britain: Teacher payouts reflect falling budgets and standards
Teaching staff are facing stress-inducing pressures as budgets and staffing levels fall, Scottish union EIS has said. The union, which in the last year secured over £600,000 in compensation settlements for members harmed by their jobs, said the way to reduce this compensation bill was to make work safer and healthier.
EIS news release. BBC News Online. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Britain: Injured will lose as insurers pocket millions
Government plans to clamp down on perceived fraud in whiplash claims include measures to remove access to free or affordable legal advice for 95 per cent of all personal injury claimants, civil service union PCS has warned. The union says behind the claims that car insurance premiums will be reduced due to restricting bogus whiplash claims, is a “sinister attempt to impose a baseless 500 per cent increase to the small claims limit for all personal injury claims, whether they occur on the road, in the workplace, or anywhere else.”
PCS news release. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Britain: Compensation changes an attack on workers’ rights
Government plans to change the rules for compensation claims would make it much more difficult for workers to get the money to which they are entitled when an employer’s negligence injures them or makes them ill, the TUC has said. The union body says compensation cases classed as ‘small claims’ don’t qualify for legal costs, so even successful claimants may run up a costs bill if a solicitor is needed – but the government wants far more claims to come under the small claims system.
TUC Stronger Unions news release. MoJ news release. APIL news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release. UNISON news release. UCATT news release. Unite news release. Risks 780. 10 December 2016

Britain: Relief as government drops plan to cull company records
Controversial plans to delete more than 2.5 million Companies House public records, which could have frustrated claims for work-related disease compensation, have been abandoned by the government’s company registration agency. The plans provoked an outcry when they became public in August, with warnings that they would hamper the ability to track down white collar criminals, combat money laundering and obtain compensation for workers harmed by their jobs.
Leigh Day news release. The Guardian. Risks 779. 3 December 2016

Britain: Compensation changes to hurt work disease victims
Government plans to reform personal injury claims in England and Wales would take the compensation system back to the dark ages and would mean many occupational disease victims would lose out, lawyers have said. One proposal - raising the limit for cases in the small claims court for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 – would mean most workers suffering an occupational disease would have neither the resources nor the legal support to pursue a genuine claim.
MoJ news release. APIL news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release. UNISON news release. UCATT news release. Unite news release. BBC News Online. Risks 778. 26 November 2016

Britain: Workplace fall cost engineer his job
A Cheshire man who suffered a disabling injury to his arm in a workplace fall was made redundant before his lengthy recuperation was complete. The maintenance engineer, 50, was repairing a water tank in the barn loft of an agricultural firm, elevated 15 feet above the ground, when the injury occurred.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 777. 19 November 2016

Britain: Worker cut after manager says get on with it
A factory worker suffered a deep laceration to his finger after a manager dismissed his concerns and told him to get on with the job. The Unite member, whose name has not been released, was employed at Greys Packaging in Bristol.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 777. 19 November 2016

Britain: Worker left partially blind by chemicals
A Unite member has received a six-figure settlement after he was left partially blind in one eye after under-pressure workplace chemicals shot into his face. The 45-year-old man, whose name has not been released, works as a manufacturing technician for an unidentified chemical processing firm.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 776. 12 November 2016.

Britain: Worker suffers hernia as employer drops the ball
A maintenance engineer has received more than £6,000 in damages after suffering a hernia in his groin doing what should have been a two-person job. Unite member Paul Hodgson, 65, was disassembling pipework on top of a 10-metre high spray booth, when hefell backwards and became trapped under an eight-metre long section of pipe.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 770. 1 October 2016.

Britain: Asbestos caused rail worker’s pleural thickening
A former railway worker from Luton has received compensation after asbestos exposure caused him to develop a disabling lung condition. Mick Whelan, general secretary at ASLEF, said: “Our member was never provided with any protective equipment throughout the course of his career, which left him defenceless against inhaling asbestos.”
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 679. 24 September 2016.

Britain: Former rail worker compensated for hand injury at work
A Nottinghamshire rail worker who suffered a hand injury while working on railway repairs has received a £15,000 payout in a union-backed claim. Unite member Trevor Allen, 65, was attempting to use a planing machine, which is used to shape a rail track, when he was injured. 
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 768. 17 September 2016.

Australia: Victimised injured Rio Tinto secures massive award
The Australian federal court has ordered mining giant Rio Tinto to pay almost Aus$1.3m (£0.74m) in damages, compensation and interest payments to a coalminer fired after claiming compensation for a workplace injury. Michael Haylett’s victimisation settlement came in a court case backed by mining and construction union CFMEU, described by the union’s Stephen Smyth as a ‘David and Goliath’ battle against a mining giant.
CFMEU news release. Risks 767. 10 September 2016

Britain: Preventable slip cost plasterer his job
A plasterer who strained his back when he slipped in his work truck and had to retire as a result has received a £50,000 payout in a union-backed claim. Unite member Kenneth Berkeley, 67, who was employed as a plasterer by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), was collecting tools from the open back of a tipper truck – supplied to him by his employer - when he slipped on its wet surface and fell, straining his back.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 767. 10 September 2016

Britain: Records changes threatens compensation
The TUC has expressed concern over proposed changes to the way that company records will be kept on the grounds that it could have a negative effect on compensation claims. Proposals are being considered to reduce the amount of time the records of dissolved companies are retained, from 20 years to just six – but these records are often used to trace companies which have gone out of business, where former employees develop an occupational disease many years after they were exposed.
The GuardianTUC blog. Risks 763. 13 August 2016

Britain: Leaving machine unguarded was a costly mistake
A Yorkshire factory worker has been awarded £16,000 in damages after an unguarded machine inflicted a deep laceration on the ring finger on his dominant hand. Unite member Kenneth Powell, 60, was operating an Altendorf saw, used to cut blocks of paper, in at the unidentified factory when the incident happened.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 762. 6 August 2016

Britain: Sports Direct pays out to injured lorry driver
A Sports Direct HGV driver who suffered a jarring injury to his left shoulder when he was struck by a falling cage at work has received £12,500 in damages. Unite member Stuart Valente needed intermittent spells off work for the rest of the year, during which time he had an operation to repair the tendon and ease the pain in his shoulder.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 761. 30 July 2016

Britain: Swarf ripped open man’s thumb
A Hinckley factory worker has received more than £21,000 in compensation after lacerating his thumb on a piece of metal. The 27-year-old Unite member was operating a machine used to cut sections of metal when a piece of swarf wrapped around his hand and ripped through the glove, causing a deep cut to his right thumb that damaged his tendons and nerves. and financial strain that the injury put our member through for them to do that.”
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 760. 23 July 2016

Bangladesh: Justice at last for Tazreen fire victims
More than three years after over 100 workers died in the Tazreen Fashion factory fire in Bangladesh, compensation payments to the victims have finally been completed. The Tazreen Claims Administration Trust says a total of US$2.17 million has now been paid to the families of 112 dead and missing workers, and to 174 people injured in the fire on 24 November 2012.
IndustriALL news release. Clean Clothes Campaign news release. Tazreen Claims Administration Trust. Risks 759. 16 July 2016.

Britain: Aquarium worker ‘scarred for life’ by fish disease
A Sheffield man was left permanently scarred by a rare illness described by experts as ‘TB for fish’. The fish technician, who wishes to remain anonymous, was diagnosed with ‘fish tank granuloma’ around a year into his work cleaning tanks and looking after fish for Dronfield-based JMC Aquatics.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news release. Derbyshire Times. Risks 758. 9 June 2016

Britain: Overheated hospital lab led to fainting injuries
A medic who fainted in a stifling NHS laboratory and suffered a debilitating foot injury has won an undisclosed compensation payout in the courts. Helen Stidwill suffers chronic pain after collapsing in the lab at King’s College Hospital, London, in March 2009.
Croydon Guardian. Croydon Advertiser. TUC temperature at work guide. Risks 758. 9 June 2016

Britain: Forklift injury followed ignored near-misses
A Unite member who suffered multiple fractures to his foot after being hit and then run over by a forklift truck at work has received £35,000 in damages. Paul Winter, who works for a magazine printing company whose name has not been disclosed, was collecting new reels to insert into large printers when the incident occurred.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 758. 9 June 2016

Britain: Fall leaving accountancy exam adds up to a payout
A finance officer has received an undisclosed payout after fracturing her right foot in a fall, which led to her developing deep vein thrombosis. The Unite member had just finished an accountancy exam at a college in Cornwall and was leaving the exam hall.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 757. 2 July 2016

Britain: Union secures improvements after car worker injury
Terence Deen, 61, a production worker at a car manufacturer in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, has been awarded almost £12,000 in damages after he suffered a crush injury and lacerations to his left leg. Unite safety reps stepped in after the incident and ensured safer work practices were introduced.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 757. 2 July 2016

Britain: Legal win will protect prison officers
Prisoners can now be prosecuted for attacks on prison workers, after a union-backed High Court case. In a landmark victory for the prison officers’ union POA, the court ruled last week that it is important to be able to prosecute prisoners for acts of violence committed against prison officers while serving time in prison, as a way of protecting prison officers and prisoners.
Thompsons Solicitors news release.
TUC violence at work guidance. Hit list: TUC violence and abuse reporting form, Hazards magazine. Risks 757. 2 July 2016

Britain: HMRC under fire over compensation cases backlog
Tax officials are breaching the human rights of bereaved spouses and the terminally ill by making them wait more than a year for essential employment records in work-related disease compensation claims. Lawyers say an average time of 383 days to retrieve historic work histories by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is denying claimants the right to pursue firms over sometimes terminal occupational diseases.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news release. Daily Mail. Risks 756. 25 June 2016

Britain: Poor training led to serious work injuries
A Unite member from Birmingham has received damages after suffering a crush injury to his hand and the partial amputation of his thumb because he didn’t have adequate safety training at work. At the time of the incident the 53-year-old worker, whose name has not been released, was working for Markem Haulage Limited delivering cement to locations across the West Midlands.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 753. 4 June 2016

Britain: Former steel rigger get pleural thickening payout
A Unite member who developed diffuse pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos at work has received an undisclosed payout. The former steel rigger, who was never provided with protective equipment or told about the dangers of working with asbestos, started to suffer from shortness of breath and panic attacks in 2011, at which point he visited his doctor who arranged for him to have a scan on his lungs.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 753. 4 June 2016

Britain: Poor training led to serious work injuries
A Unite member from Birmingham has received damages after suffering a crush injury to his hand and the partial amputation of his thumb because he didn’t have adequate safety training at work. At the time of the incident the 53-year-old worker, whose name has not been released, was working for Markem Haulage Limited delivering cement to locations across the West Midlands.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 752. 4 June 2016

Britain: Former steel rigger get pleural thickening payout
A Unite member who developed diffuse pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos at work has received an undisclosed payout. The former steel rigger, who was never provided with protective equipment or told about the dangers of working with asbestos, started to suffer from shortness of breath and panic attacks in 2011, at which point he visited his doctor who arranged for him to have a scan on his lungs. Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 752. 4 June 2016

Britain: Sluggish HMRC is hurting work disease victims
People suffering life threatening work-related diseases including occupational cancers are facing potentially disastrous delays of a year to receive their employment records from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a top law firm has said. Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have written to HMRC urging it to speed the system up, say the backlog is denying work disease victims compensation at the time they need it and in some cases resulting in denial of compensation completely.
Irwin Mitchell news release. Risks 750. 14 May 2016

Britain: Tackling prison fight cost worker her job
A former prison worker has been awarded £140,000 after a six-year legal battle with the prison service following an injury that ended her career. While working at a London young offender’s institute, the POA member had been restraining a prisoner after a fight had broken out.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 747. 23 April 2016

Britain: Prison carpenter developed work-related lung cancer
A POA member from County Durham has received compensation of £220,832 after contracting asbestos-related lung cancer. The retired carpenter, whose name has not been released, was employed in various prisons between 1963 and 1995 where he carried out maintenance work on prison buildings.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Northern Echo. Risks 747. 23 April 2016

Britain: Chemicals can hurt wherever you work
You don’t have to work in the chemical industry to be harmed by chemicals at work, two 59-year-old Unite members have found to their cost. One was sprayed with bromine and suffered serious burns, the other exposed to a concrete-curing chemical which aggravated childhood asthma, which had not affected his health since he was 10-years-old.
Thompsons Solicitors news releases on the acid burns and chemical fumes settlements. Risks 747. 23 April 2016

Britain: Keyboard use led to RSI and job loss
A Unite member has been awarded £30,000 in damages after developing a repetitive strain injury (RSI) from excessive use of a computer keyboard. The 31-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, suffered a strain injury to her right wrist while working as an administrator at an unnamed charity, where she would spend up to eight hours a day entering data onto a computer.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 745. 9 April 2016

Britain: Head blow led to hearing damage
A factory worker who suffered a bang on the head a work developed a permanent and debilitating hearing condition as a result. Unite member Paul Kelly, 54, was working on a factory production line when the incident occurred.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 744. 2 April 2016

Britain: Asda lorry crushed store worker
A Dundee warehouse worker who was crushed by an Asda lorry has receive a compensation payout from the retail giant. David Scott, 69, was working at the Milton of Craigie superstore in Mid Craigie on 25 November 2014 when he was injured.
The Courier. Risks 742. 12 March 2016

Britain: Big settlement follows devastating injury
A foundry worker has received a £1.6 million settlement after his left leg was crushed by a falling metal component, resulting in an amputation above the knee. The 58-year-old Unite member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I hope my case will reinforce the importance of health and safety reps in the workplace and will reduce the chances of a similar accident happening to others in the future.”
Unite news release. Risks 742. 12 March 2016

Britain: Supreme Court ‘landmark’ case on prison work
The Supreme Court has backed a prison employee’s right to claim damages from the Ministry of Justice after she was seriously injured when an inmate dropped a 25kg bag of rice on her. The landmark case, brought by the prison officers’ union POA, will change the legal definition of ‘employee’ and the law around vicarious liability.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 741. 5 March 2016

Britain: Unite member compensated for asbestosis
A former pipe fitter who developed the debilitating asbestos-related lung scarring disease asbestosis has received an undisclosed compensation payout. Unite member Michael Adcock, 64, worked as a pipefitter for a Leicestershire engineering company from 1968 to 1986, where he refurbished boilers that were insulated with asbestos. Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 739. 20 February 2016.

Britain: Supreme Court win on protective equipment
Employers face having to provide protective footwear for staff following a landmark court ruling involving a care worker who slipped on ice at work. GMB member Tracey Kennedy fell and injured her wrist as she made her way to the home of a housebound woman in the Crookston area of Glasgow in the harsh winter of December 2010.
GMB Scotland news release. Video recording of the Supreme Court ruling. Digby Brown Solicitors news release. The Herald. STV News. Risks 739. 20 February 2016.

Britain: Insurers want to curtail work deafness payouts
The insurance industry wants to make it more difficult to claim compensation for occupational deafness, the TUC has warned. The union body says despite a dramatic fall in the number of compensation settlements – down from 183,342 in 2002 to 103,401 – insurers have complained that noise induced hearing loss claims increased threefold in the last four years, from 9,334 to 27,490 - but the TUC says this represents statistical sleight of hand, not a genuine trend.
TUC Stronger Unions blog. Risks 736. 20 January 2016.

Britain: Poor prison training led to medical retirement
A former prison officer has been awarded £185,000 in compensation after he suffered a permanent shoulder injury when taking part in mandatory control and restraint training at work. Robert Warren, a member of the prison officers’ union POA, was working at HMP Wealstun in West Yorkshire at the time of the incident.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 735. 23 January 2016

Canada: Lung cancer added to firefighter scheme
Firefighters and fire investigators in Ontario, Canada, no longer have to prove their lung cancer is work-related to claim workers’ compensation. From 1 January 2016 the condition has been added to a list of cancers presumed to be work-related for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits.
CBC News. Risks 734. 16 January 2016

Britain: Fall caused physical and mental injuries
A Unite member who suffered a workplace fall that caused physical and psychological injuries has been awarded more than £100,000 in compensation. The 56-year-old man from Rotherham, whose name has not been released, was sent by his employer to fix a roller shutter door at a client’s premises when the ladder he was using slipped and fell from under him.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 733. 9 January 2016

Britain: Firefighters laid low by water-borne bug
Thousands of pounds of compensation has been paid out to firefighters from across the UK who fell ill after taking part in training at the National Watersports Centre. The training was carried out at the centre, at Holme Pierrepont in Nottinghamshire, between 2009 and 2012 and led to 66 firefighters falling ill with sickness and diarrhoea. Each firefighter received between £1,000 and £10,000, with Nottinghamshire County Council paying out a total of £88,312.50 in compensation after settling 54 claims without accepting liability. Water at the centre flowed from the River Trent, which was found to contain harmful bacteria. Due to the physically demanding nature of the training, it led to almost all of those attending the courses ingesting the water and falling ill. The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) South West branch instructed Thompsons Solicitors to carry out investigations into cause of the sickness. Despite evidence establishing contaminated water was responsible for the ill-health, the centre was still advertised to fire brigades as a safe place to carry out the ‘Swift Water Rescue Training’. Tam McFarlane, executive council member for South West FBU, said: “Rather than accepting their mistakes, bosses have fought every claim in full, wasting vast sums of taxpayers' money on legal defence fees that should be spent protecting the public.” Kevin Digby, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Sixth-six FBU members have been laid low by this failure and there are many others who have been affected.” He added: “Listening to your staff, listening to experts, and basic health and safety isn't rocket science.”
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Nottingham Post. Buxton Advertiser. Risks 733. 9 January 2016

Korea: SK Hynix agrees to compensate electronics workers
Korean electronics firm SK Hynix has agreed to provide compensation to current and former semiconductor factory workers, and even those of its subcontractors, who may be suffering from a range of occupational diseases including cancer. The company said it would accept “immediately” the recommendation of an industrial and public health review committee that conducted a year-long inspection of Hynix semiconductor workplaces.
Cancerhazards.org. Risks 731. 5 December 2015

Britain: Top judge confirms there is no compensation culture
The UK’s second most senior judge has dismissed the government-promoted notion that the country is suffering from “compensation culture”. Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls and Head of the Civil Justice, said in a speech that “we should remind ourselves of what the law actually requires and do what we can to explode the false perception of compensation culture.”
Lord Dyson’s speech, 13 October 2015. Thompsons Solicitors news release. International Business Times. The Compensation Myth, TUC/APIL, April 2014. Risks 726. 31 October 2015.

]Britain: Dying military veterans denied asbestos justice 
British veterans who develop terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure during their military service are being unfairly treated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), campaigners and victims have claimed. Current laws mean that the MoD does not have to pay compensation for accidents or injuries suffered before 1987, which rules out those with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure decades ago.
Royal British Legion asbestos justice campaign. The Independent. Risks 726. 31 October 2015.

Britain: Prison slip cost officer his job
A prison officer who suffered a career-ending fall at work has secured a six-figure compensation payment in a claim backed by his union, the Prison Officers Association (POA). The 48-year-old, whose name has not been released, was on guard dog patrol at a prison when he slipped on a stretch of path which had not been gritted, fracturing his right foot and has been told by doctors that he faces a 25 per cent risk amputation in future.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 726. 31 October 2015.

Britain: Faulty machine caused permanent nerve damage
A Unite member is to receive £5,750 in compensation after his hand was damaged in a faulty machine. The production operative, whose name has not been released, was employed by Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council in south Wales making double glazed windows and doors.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 724. 17 October 2015.

Britain: Road crash cost worker his job
A production fitter who was forced to retire after being injured in a road traffic accident has received an undisclosed payout in a union-backed claim. Kenneth Welham, 67, suffered serious fractures to his lower right leg when he was hit by a motorcycle as he stood on a central reservation.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 724. 17 October 2015.

Britain: Restaurant owner had no employer liability insurance
A restaurant owner has been fined for failing to provide Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI). Hasret Sasmaz, trading as Starburger, was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,779 at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to three offences under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
HSE news release and Employers’ liability insurance webpages. Risks 723. 10 October 2015

Britain: Long hours and repetitive work led to constant pain
A factory worker suffering with chronic back pain as a result of repetitive work over long shifts has called for employers to improve their assessments and safety measures. Anthony McCarthy, 26, who has received an out-of-court payout, first began to suffer with muscle pain in his mid- to lower- back in early 2012, with the intensity and severity of the pain increasing throughout his 11-hour shifts at HVR International Limited.
Irwin Mitchell news release. Shields Gazette. Risks 723. 10 October 2015

Britain: Firefighter badly injured in pig rescue
A firefighter from Louth, Lincolnshire has received £108,000 in compensation after suffering a serious shoulder injury at work. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) member, whose name has not been released, was part of a team responding to a call where a lorry that was transporting pigs had turned over.
FBU news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release and new industrial diseases website. Risks 719. 12 September 2015

Britain: Aston Martin gave engineer skin disease
Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has been brought to book after a workshop engineer employed at its site in Banbury contracted occupational dermatitis from working with toxic glue. The engineer’s main duties were repairing car batteries, pneumatic tools and hydraulic car parts.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 717. 29 August 2015

Britain: Electrician suffered foot injury at station
An electrician from Ormskirk has secured more than £10,000 in compensation after a heavy pump crushed his right foot. Unite member Gary Clark was working at Liverpool Central Station when he was told to move a large draining pump, a machine used to prevent flooding on train tracks.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 717. 29 August 2015

Britain: Six figure payout after life-changing injury
An electrical technician has received £212,000 in compensation after falling from the access ladder of a crane, which caused a serious injury to his ankle and affected his ability to walk. Unite member Mark Nicholls, 54, now spends his leisure time resting the ankle so he is in a fit state to do his next shift.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 714. 8 August 2015.

Britain: Cobalt caused grinder’s job-ending allergies
A factory worker lost his job after contracting a debilitating sensitisation to cobalt at work. The Unite member has now received £40,000 in compensation from Federal Mogul after he developed occupational asthma and dermatitis following workplace dust exposures while working on a grinding machine.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 713. 1 August 2015

Britain: Cameron ‘open’ to pay your own sick pay scheme
David Cameron is considering options for making workers pay into flexible saving accounts to fund their own sick pay or unemployment benefits, Downing Street has confirmed. The idea was first floated by Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who said he was “very keen” to have a debate about encouraging people to use personal accounts to save for unemployment or illness, even though it is not official government policy.
Summer Budget 2015. The Guardian. Sunday Telegraph. Risks 711. 18 July 2015

Britain: Night workers hit by brutal assault
Three UNISON members working in a care home have received compensation totalling £60,000 after being subjected to a violent attack by a service user. The union said the South London night workers, whose names have not been released, suffered both physical and psychological injuries as result of the March 2014 attack.
UNISON news release and It’s not part of the job guide. Risks 711. 18 July 2015

Britain: Asbestos campaigners force cancer costs u-turn
The government has agreed to waive new court fees for cases involving asbestos-related disease in what has been hailed as a landmark decision for claimants. The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK brought the case alongside mesothelioma sufferers Ian Doughty and Carole Sloper.
Leigh Day Solicitors news release. The Law Gazette. Risks 710. 11 July 2015

Britain: Admin worker broke her leg and lost her job
A prison administrative worker has received a £125,000 payout after a slip at work left her with a broken leg and lasting mental health problems. The PCS member, identified only as Julie, was working in a Young Offenders Institution in Dorset when she slipped on spilt liquid in front of inmates when walking to her office, with the injury and a related phobia of slipping eventually causing her to give up her job.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 709. 4 July 2015

Britain: Tanker reversed over waste water worker
A waste water worker from Cornwall has been awarded £9,500 after a tanker reversed into him, causing injuries to his neck and lower back. The incident happened at a sewage pumping station in Fowey, Cornwall, where South West Water was working alongside drainage company, Clearflow.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 705. 6 June 2015

Britain: Union steps in after drop-off car crash
A father-of-three injured in a head-on car collision on a busy Cornish road has secured compensation with the backing of his union Unite. Nick Brancher’s car was hit by an oncoming car which careered from the other side of the A38 in Glynn Valley.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 705. 6 June 2015

Australia: Most work cancers go uncompensated
Less than 10 per cent of people diagnosed with occupational cancer in Australia get any compensation, a report has revealed. ‘Occupational Cancer Costs’, a new review of workers’ compensation claims undertaken by Cancer Council Australia, found an average of 395 claims a year were made nationwide for work-related cancers, resulting in payouts of Aus$30 million (£15m), but that was a fraction of those who could possibly apply.
Cancer Care Australia news release and report, Occupational Cancer Costs.
The Conversation. The West Australian. Risks 703. 23 May 2015

Britain: Van driver’s fall cost him his job
A delivery driver who suffered head and shoulder injuries after falling from a work vehicle ended up losing his job as a result. The 66-year-old Unite member has received a £75,000 payout after he suffered a head injury and damaged his left shoulder when he fell backwards from a seven-tonne van at a delivery depot.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 702. 16 May 2015.

Bangladesh: ‘Industrial homicide’ compensation shortfall
Two years after the deaths of more than 1,100 workers in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the compensation fund for their families and for the thousands injured is still US$6 million short of the $30 million target. Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the global union umbrella group ITUC, said: “The Rana Plaza tragedy shows how destructive the global supply chain model of today is for working people.”
ITUC news release. Risks 700. 2 May 2015

Britain: Union secures payout for injured photojournalist
Media union NUJ has helped a photojournalist secure compensation after he seriously injured his ankle and finger when he tripped on a cracked pavement.  The union member was working as a freelance photojournalist when he suffered a serious spiral fracture to his ring finger and tore ligaments in his ankle in the fall in Hackney, London.
NUJ news release. Risks 698. 18 April 2015

[compo] Britain: Balfour Beatty worker trapped by track machine
Essex engineer Andrew Tiffin has been awarded ‘significant’ compensation from construction giant Balfour Beatty, after the RMT member suffered a severe crush injury while working at a maintenance depot in Colchester.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 698. 18 April 2015

Global: UK asbestos, Irish victim, US court case
A New York appellate court has ruled that a former mechanic in Ireland can sue Ford Motor Co in the US courts because the company’s “substantial role” in the design of car parts distributed by its UK subsidiary.
Law360.comRisks 69711 April 2015

Britain: Work compensation scheme is ‘an unholy mess’
Most UK workers suffering occupational cancer and other potentially lethal work-related diseases can forget about any government compensation, according to a new report by University of Stirling health researchers. The report, published in the new edition of Hazards magazine, found the current compensation scheme is an ‘unholy mess’ that excludes seven of the top ten entries on the official UK occupational cancer priorities ranking.
Stirling University news release. Mean test, Hazards magazine, number 130, 2015. STV News. The HeraldRisks 69711 April 2015

Britain: Work injury cost chef her job
A chef who is no longer able to work after suffering serious injuries in a fall at work has secured a £16,250 compensation payout. UNISON member Yvonne Rupp, 62, was working for Avalon Nursing Home in Poole when she tripped on loose that had been reported to her employer on a number of occasions before the incident, but managers made no attempt to fix the hazard.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 696. 28 March 2015

Britain: Bus driver proved innocent after failed drug test
A Bristol-based bus driver has received compensation from First Bus after proving he didn't take drugs, despite failing a workplace drugs test. Unite member Alan Bailes, who had been employed as a bus driver for more than 22 years, was wrongly dismissed from First Bristol Limited for “gross misconduct” after testing positive for cocaine in a drug test at work.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Bath Chronicle. Risks 696. 28 March 2015

Britain: Work injury ends firefighter’s career
An ex-firefighter who suffered a career-ending injury while working at Ilkley Fire Station in West Yorkshire has secured ‘substantial’ six figure damages in a union-backed case. FBU member Michael Hollings, who had been in the service for eight years, was seriously injured during a training exercise in May 2011.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 695. 21 March 2015

Britain: Housing group caused carpal tunnel
A Bradford man developed debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in both arms as a result of excessive and poorly managed use of vibrating tools. The Unite member, whose name has not been released, was employed by Incommunities Group plc worked on housing refurbishment schemes and used tools including drills, stihl saws, jigsaws and kango hammers. 
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 693. 7 March 2015

Britain: UK body refuses to recognise two asbestos cancers
The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) has said cancers of the larynx or ovary linked to asbestos exposure should not be added to the list of prescribed industrial diseases. Cancer of the larynx caused by asbestos is already recognised for state compensation payouts in countries including Germany, France, Denmark and Italy.
IIAC summary and Cancers of the larynx or ovary and work with asbestos: IIAC information note, February 2015. IARC Monograph 100C, 2012. Risks 692. 28 February 2015

Britain: Train driver injured on unsafe walkway
A train driver who fractured his calf bone when he tripped and fell while walking at St Pancras Station, has secured £20,000 in compensation. The 40-year-veteran had been told by a manager to exit his train in the sidings, which meant he had to walk along a poorly maintained pathway that runs adjacent to the rail line.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 692. 28 February 2015

Britain: GMB gives guarded welcome to mesothelioma payouts rise
The GMB union was said that changes to the way that victims of the cancer mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, do not go far enough. GMB safety officer John McClean said the union was however “greatly disappointment that those victims and their families who received 80 per cent of the compensation since July 2014 will not be getting the missing 20%, and those victims who from February 2010, when the original consultation began, will receive nothing from this scheme.”
GMB news release. Risks 691. 21 February 2015

Britain: Government plugs mesothelioma payouts hole
Sufferers of an asbestos-related cancer will in the future receive extra payouts after the government revised its mesothelioma compensation rules. Under new rules for the government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme compensation will rise to match 100 per cent of average civil claims, up from the current 80 per cent.
DWP news release and ministerial written statement. Risks 690. 14 February 2015

Britain: Slip cost aircraft fitter his job
An aircraft fitter was forced to retire from work after falling at work and suffering severe back and leg injuries. Timothy Powell, 58, from Bristol, was working for GKN Aerospace Services Ltd when he slipped on a pool of water on the shopfloor after a machine used for polishing aluminium components leaked.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 688. 31 January 2015

Britain: Lawyers condemn ‘outrageous’ court fee hike
Government plans for dramatic increases in the cost of going to court could have a ‘profound impact on access to justice’, according to personal injury lawyers. “The government’s claim that fees are not a major factor in a person’s decision about whether or not to go to court is completely disingenuous,” said APIL president John Spencer, adding: “This move is bound to discourage people from making valid claims – people who have every right to make them.”
APIL news release. Risks 688. 31 January 2015

Britain: Cotton gloves treatment gives machinist dermatitis
A machine operator who was provided the wrong gloves by his employer contracted occupational dermatitis as a result. Unite member Graham Taylor, from Telford, worked at Mahle Filter Systems where he welded components and dipped seals in ‘P80 solution’.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 687. 24 January 2015

Britain: UNISON member gets car crash payout
A social worker who suffered nerve and soft tissue damage as a result of a road traffic accident unrelated to her job has secured £3,105 in compensation. The 64-year-old from Somerset was driving on the B3128 outside of Bristol, when another driver suddenly drove into the rear of her car, propelling her forward into a vehicle in front.   
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 686. 17 January 2015

Britain: Equity secures £3.7m for injured stage manager
Equity member Rachael Presdee has been awarded £3.7 million compensation after suffering a life-changing injury at the Soho Theatre in London which means she now needs to use a wheelchair. Rachael was a stage manager on the Headlong Theatre production of Boys in 2012. On 9 June 2012 she fell through an unguarded backstage door and dropped three metres on to the open stage, suffering serious and permanent injury to her spine.
Equity news release. The Stage. BBC News Online. The Telegraph. The Express. The Guardian. Risks 685. 10 January 2015

Britain: Shamed fire chiefs agree to deaths payout
East Sussex fire bosses who forced the families of two fallen firefighters into a gruelling court battle have finally agreed to pay compensation. The announcement marks the final chapter in a painful struggle for the relatives of Geoff Wicker, 49, and Brian Wembridge, 63, who were killed by an explosion during a fireworks factory blaze at Marlie Farm in 2006.
ESFRS statement. Morning Star. Risks 685. 10 January 2015

Britain: Scissor-welding director wanted to ‘kill’ worker
A worker has received a £2,500 payout after a scissor-wielding company director threatened to kill him. BECTU member Peter Fermor was injured in the assault.
Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 685. 10 January 2015

Britain: Health worker attacked on understaffed ward
A former nursing assistant sustained such serious injuries in a violent assault at work he was forced to give up his job. Michael Martin was assisting a dying patient on the neurology ward when another patient attacked him. The UNISON member, who worked as a nursing assistant for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, was hit with a chair. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 68413 December 2014

Britain: Paramedic punched trying to stop brutal assault
A public spirited UNISON member who was a victim of serious violence after he intervened in a bid to stop a brutal assault has received £9,000 in compensation. The off duty paramedic from Spalding was attempting to treat a member of the public, but ended up being assaulted by two men.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 68413 December 2014

Britain: Government ‘support’ short changes asbestos victims
Asbestos groups have accused ministers of putting a positive gloss on measures that “short change” victims of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma. They were commenting after an 8 December Ministry of Justice news release proclaimed ‘new support for industrial disease victims’, including working with the National Cancer Registration Service and Public Health England to speed up the process of obtaining hospital medical records.
Ministry of Justice news release, details of the scheme and statement from Lord FaulksIrwin Mitchell news releaseLaw GazetteRisks 68413 December 2014

Bangladesh: Tazreen victims to get some compensation
Two years after the Tazreen disaster that killed more than 120 people trapped in a factory fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an agreement has been made between the global union IndustriALL and their local affiliates, the Clean Clothes Campaign and retailer C&A on delivering compensation to the victims.
IndustriALL news releaseClean Clothes Campaign news releaseRisks 68229 November 2014

Britain: Tesco warehouse worker hurt by forklift
The union Unite has secured more than £86,000 in compensation for a warehouseman who was seriously injured in an incident involving a forklift truck at a Tesco distribution centre. The member, an employee at Tesco’s Purfleet distribution centre, was standing on a pallet truck in an empty loading bay in the Essex warehouse when a colleague suddenly drove a forklift truck into it.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 68015 November 2014

Britain: Supreme Court victory for asbestos victims
A landmark Supreme Court judgment will ensure a fair settlement for the bereaved families of asbestos disease victims. The ruling establishes that under the Factories Act the occupier of the premises is responsible for the welfare of the people on site, not just those it employs directly, and that the Asbestos Industry Regulations apply to all factories using asbestos - not just those involved in the asbestos industry.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseThe MirrorRisks 6781 November 2014

Britain: Healthcare assistant violently attacked at work
A healthcare assistant, who was attacked by a patient with a known history of aggression, has been awarded an undisclosed sum in compensation. The patient should not have been on the ward as the staff at the hospital had not been given sufficient training on how to deal with a patient who posed such a danger.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6781 November 2014

New Zealand: Claims expose the most dangerous jobs
Almost a quarter of agriculture, forestry and fishery workers in New Zealand had a work-related injury claim accepted by the country’s official Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in 2013. Provisional figures for the year released by Statistics New Zealand show that agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers made 226 injury claims per 1,000 full-time equivalent employees, and 2.6 per cent of these workers experienced an injury that resulted in a week or more off work.
NZCTU news releaseRisks 67725 October 2014

Britain: Prison officer attacked by violent inmate
A prison officer suffered career-ending physical and psychological injuries when he was attacked by a prisoner at Her Majesty’s Young Offender’s Institute Wetherby. The Prison Officers Association (POA) member, Keith Nyberg was carrying out a routine check in the inmate’s cell when the prisoner became aggressive and threatening.
Thompsons Solicitors news releasePrisons Inspector’s annual report 2013-2014Risks 67725 October 2014

Britain: Premier Foods pays out after head injury
A Premier Foods employee was injured at work when part of the machinery he was cleaning fell and struck him on the head. Johnathan Wain, a member of the bakers’ union BFAWU, was employed as a mixing bay operator the firm’s Stoke-on-Trent bakery.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 67725 October 2014

Australia: Welder gets landmark cancer payout
A landmark court decision to award compensation to a man whose lung cancer was linked to inhaling toxic welding fumes establishes a series of crucial precedents, Australian manufacturing union AMWU has said. AMWU health and safety experts said the Victorian County Court decision was an Australian first and recognised that light smoker Anh Tran’s risk of contracting lung cancer had been raised by working in a small welding shop in south-east Melbourne.
AMWU news releaseRisks 67511 October 2014

Britain: Painful twist leads to injury compensation
A poorly planned pipe replacement job led to a Gloucester factory worker suffering a painful wrist injury. Unite member Terry Behan, who has received a £12,000 compensation award, said: “We were expected to work in treacherous weather conditions and didn't have the right equipment to fix the pipe in the first place!”
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseGloucester CitizenRisks 67511 October 2014

Britain: Court rules asbestos payout cut is illegal
Government plans to deduct legal fees from the damages paid to people dying from an asbestos cancer are unlawful, the High Court has ruled. The Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK (AVSGF) brought the successful action against justice secretary Chris Grayling.
AVSGF news releaseLeigh Day and Co news releaseIBAS news reportLaw GazetteThe GuardianBBC News OnlineRisks 67511 October 2014

Britain: Support for suicide witnesses axed by government
A train driver who suffered psychological trauma after he hit a member of the public who stood in front of his moving train in an apparent suicide has been one of the last to secure compensation from an official criminal injuries scheme. The ASLEF member’s payout of £8,200 is one of the highest ever secured from the CICA in suicide cases but will be one of the last, following changes by the current government in 2012 that excluded train drivers and many other workers from claiming compensation for physical or mental injuries sustained during the course of their employment.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6744 October 2014

Britain: Train conductor injured in platform collapse
An RMT member has urged others to sign up for union protection after he was seriously injured due to the negligence of his employer. The train conductor, whose name has not been released, was making sure passengers were getting off a Northern Rail train safely when the edge of the platform crumbled suddenly, causing him to fall between the train and the platform.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 67220 September 2014

Britain: Legal experts slam ‘pointless’ Heroism Bill
A government Bill the justice secretary says will allow would-be heroes and volunteers to act without fear of being sued is ill thought through, populist, and a waste of parliamentary time, legal experts have told MPs. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) was commenting in evidence to the House of Commons’ public bill committee on the effects of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (SARAH), which is currently working its way through parliament.
APIL news releasePublic Bill Committee SARAH webpages • Risks 67113 September 2014

Britain: Aerospace worker gets serious skin disease
An aerospace worker developed a painful skin condition because he wasn’t given adequate protection from contact with coolant oil contaminants. The Unite member, who has secured a £10,000 compensation payout in a union-backed claim, was working on the production of aerospace fixing when he developed dermatitis, a skin disease that can cause intense and painful itching.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6707 September 2014

Britain: Worker’s knee injury led to constant pain
A UNISON member has been awarded more than £20,000 of damages for life-changing injuries suffered at work. Craig Buckingham, 50, was working at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust in 2009 when he slipped and twisted his knee on wet carpet tiles that had not been dried by cleaning contractors the night before.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 66930 August 2014

Britain: New justice for Marlie Farm fire deaths campaign
In December 2006, Geoff Wicker and Brian Wembridge lost their lives tackling a fire at Marlie Farm. Despite a High Court ruling that compensation must be paid to the families, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has refused to settle - so the firefighters’ union, FBU, has launched a campaign for justice.
FBU news release and campaign for justice • Sign the FBU petitionRisks 66930 August 2014

Britain: Prison officer suffers horrific career-ending attack
A senior prison officer who suffered serious physical and mental injuries in a horrific violent assault by an inmate has had to give up his job as a result. Iain Fleming, a member of the prison officers’ union POA, suffered stab wounds to the head and eye, both of his arms, his right shoulder and to his chest and developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the months following the incident.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 66823 August 2014

Britain: MPs back campaigners on asbestos cancer justice
A committee of MPs has backed unions and asbestos disease victims’ advocates, and called on the government to rethink proposals cooked up with the insurance industry to impose legal costs on people suffering a deadly asbestos cancer. The Justice Select Committee report published on 1 August is highly critical of a government review that concluded a costs exemption for mesothelioma sufferers should end.
House of Commons Justice Committee: Mesothelioma claims and news releaseTUC news release •   Thompsons Solicitors news releaseIrwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseRisks 6669 August 2014

Britain: Nurse devastated by needlestick injury
A trainee nurse has been awarded over £75,000 compensation after a jab from a dirty needle at work cost her job and her marriage. Alcinda Tobbal could no longer bear physical intimacy after suffering the injury while working as a nursing assistant at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London, and became obsessed with cleanliness.
Daily MailRisks 6652 August 2014

Britain: Final insult for workers dying because of their jobs
A government deal cooked up with the insurance industry and that robs asbestos cancer victims of a large chunk of their compensation is continuing to attract criticism. The Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire notes: “Even workers gasping for final breaths are targets to be short-changed by Tory toff David Cameron.”
Daily MirrorRisks 66319 July 2014

Britain: Faulty equipment firm tried to blame victim
A shameful employer tried to blame a worker for the accident that left him with serious injuries and his co-worker dead. Unite member Joseph Horsley, an employee of road recovery firm RWR, had driven a truck to assist a colleague whose own work vehicle had broken down at the side of the road; he was standing between the broken down vehicle and another RWR vehicle when the handbrake in his own truck failed, causing it to roll backwards and crush him and his colleague.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 66319 July 2014

Britain: Union ‘disgusted’ with delay to fire deaths justice
Firefighters’ union FBU has said it is “disgusted” that the families of two dead firefighters will be forced to wait another three months for the resolution of a long-running compensation battle. The union was speaking out after the ongoing Court of Appeal hearing relating to the deaths of union members Brian Wembridge and Geoff Wicker at a fireworks factory in 2006 was delayed by a further appeal by the employer’s insurer, Zurich.
The ArgusRisks 66212 July 2014

Britain: TV carpenter suffered work-limiting injury
A 60-year-old carpenter from Romford has received £10,000 in compensation after TV company ITV failed to make safe the This Morning broadcast studio. The carpenter, who has been a member of the union BECTU for nearly 40 years, fell into an uncovered ditch in the studio and sustained a cartilage tear in his right knee – after his request that the ditch be made safe was ignored.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6615 July 2014

Britain: Faulty chair injures bus driver
A bus driver from Leicester has secured an undisclosed payout from First Group after he was injured by a dodgy chair the firm had neglected to fix. The Unite member, whose name has not been released, was injured when his seat collapsed as the bus passing over a speed bump.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 66028 June 2014

Britain: Don’t deny rights to injury victims, says STUC
Scotland’s top union body has called on a Scottish parliament committee to uphold access to justice for the victims of workplace injuries. STUC is urging the justice committee to support amendments submitted by John Finnie MSP to the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, to protect rights including legal representation.
Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill webpagesOut-Law.comRisks 65921 June 2014

Britain: Attack ends career of nursing assistant
A former nursing assistant was forced to retire on health grounds after an assault by a patient. Andrew Eurich, who has been awarded a £13,000 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme payout, tore the cartilage in his lower back while restraining the patient and will be on painkillers for the rest of his life.
Boston TargetRisks 65921 June 2014

Britain: Injured bus cleaner wins justice 
A Unite member has secured a £3,500 payout after being injured in a heavy fall over an exposed drain cover at the bus depot where he worked. The man, whose name has not been released, was walking towards a double decker bus at the Gloucestershire depot in order to clean it when he tripped on a drain cover protruding an inch above the floor, falling heavily onto his left hand side and fracturing ribs.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 65921 June 2014

Britain: Scots asbestos sufferers face compensation blow
Planned legal changes in Scotland could mean those suffering from asbestos-related illnesses could lose out on legal representation and compensation, a member of the Scottish parliament (MSP) has said. The Scottish government’s Court Reform Bill - which is currently being considered by MSPs - would mean some cases would be downgraded from the Court of Session to sheriff courts, or a new specialist personal injury court.
Greenock TelegraphRisks 65814 June 2014

Britain: Prospects are poor for injured lorry driver
An HGV driver many never return to work after a preventable incident at work left him with serious injuries to his neck and shoulder. Unite member Steven Bardrick was delivering goods to Spicer Limited, his employer when he was injured.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 65814 June 2014

Britain: Court clash over blacklisting compensation scheme
Construction unions have successfully blocked moves by major contractors to contact blacklisted workers directly with compensation offers. Lawyers representing the firms involved in setting up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme in October last year applied to the High Court to use the blacklisting database of 3,213 names to contact listed workers, but were told it could break the solicitors’ code of conduct.
GMB news releaseConstruction EnquirerWestern Daily PressRisks 65814 June 2014

Britain: Heroism Bill is really blame-the-worker ‘gobbledygook’
A new law the government says will protect ‘good Samaritans and community heroes’ could be just another ‘sinister’ attack on workers suffering occupational injuries and diseases, the TUC has warned. Announcing the planned law, which is due to take effect next year and which the government says is necessary “to tackle the growth of compensation culture”, justice secretary Chris Grayling said: “I don’t want us to be a society where a responsible employer gets the blame for someone doing something stupid.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogMoJ news releaseConservative HomeBBC News OnlineRisks 6577 June 2014

Britain: Clutha victims still wait for compensation
No-one injured or bereaved in the Glasgow helicopter crash has yet received compensation, despite a system of “strict liability” on the operator. Ten people were killed and many more injured after a police helicopter crashed on the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow in November 2013.
HeraldRisks 65631 May 2014

Britain: Union wins legal victory for asbestos victims
Unite has won a judicial review against HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which means that, when requested to do so by a coroner, HMRC has to produce the work history of a person suspected to have died from industrial disease. HMRC had recently overturned years of practice of issuing work histories if the deceased person’s relatives consented and were now refusing to do so without a High Court order.
Unite press releaseRisks 65631 May 2014

Britain: Cruelty of asbestos payout scheme exposed
The widow of a man who died from asbestos-related cancer is set to miss out on a six figure payout from a government compensation scheme, because he was diagnosed a few days before the scheme kicked in. Sid Pointon, 73, was diagnosed with cancer just 10 days before the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme cut-off for payments to help families who have lost loved ones because of the killer dust.
Manchester Evening NewsRisks 65524 May 2014

Britain: Labour promises more support for asbestos victims
The next Labour government will provide fresh assistance to victims of asbestos, a shadow minister has pledged. Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said a future Labour administration will “be enshrining in a law a levy on the insurance industry, to secure a sustainable funding stream for improved compensation for victims and ongoing research into the disease and its treatment.”
UCATT news releaseHeating and Ventilation NewsRisks 65524 May 2014

Britain: Traumatised train driver may be the last to get payout
A train driver traumatised after a suicidal person walked in front of his 125mph train in March 2012 could be the last to receive a payout from an official criminal injuries compensation scheme. Under cost-cutting rule changes introduced on 26 November 2012, many workers – including some victims of violence at work and train drivers traumatised by a suicide on the track – are excluded from payments from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
The IndependentRisks 65310 May 2014

Britain: Prison officer forced to retire after violent assault
A prison officer was forced to leave the profession after being violently assaulted by an inmate. The Prison Officers Association (POA) member, who was left with debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the attack by an inmate, has secured a ‘significant’ sum of compensation with the help of the union.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6523 May 2014

Britain: Icy slip ended care worker’s career
A management decision to ignore a basic safety requirement meant a dedicated care support worker could not work again. The sheltered housing scheme employee, whose name has not been released, was forced to retire early after being knocked unconscious when she slipped on an icy and ungritted pavement.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6523 May 2014

Britain: Forty year career ended by employer negligence
A Unite member has secured compensation after he fell twice on the icy tailgate of a lorry while working for Stonegate Farmers. Roy Gardiner, of Melksham in Wiltshire, was working for Stonegate Farmers’ delivery firm when he slipped on the tailgate on two separate occasions while loading pallets into his van.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6523 May 2014

Britain: Bank carpet tile trip forced retirement
A bank worker injured in when she tripped and fell over a lose carpet tile ended up losing her job as result. Susan Green, who worked at a branch of Barclays Bank in south-east London, was walking back to her workstation after retrieving a fax when she tripped.
Simpson Millar Solicitors news releaseRisks 6523 May 2014

Britain: TUC explodes the ‘compensation myth’
Workplace compensation cases have fallen by more than 50 per cent in the last decade, reveals a new joint report from the TUC and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). ‘The compensation myth’ – which tackles seven myths about compensation – smashes the misconception of a rise in risk aversion driven by a compensation culture.
TUC news releaseThe Compensation Myth, TUC/APIL, April 2014 • APIL news releaseInsurance TimesMore background on the statisticsRisks 65126 April 2014

Britain: No tears after top Tory’s legal costs shocker
A top Tory acquitted of criminal charges but left with a £130,000 legal bill is getting a bitter taste of how his party’s policies have hit injured workers who now have to hand over part of any settlement. Before his arrest, Conservative MP and former deputy speaker Nigel Evans made statements about the need to cut legal aid and admitted he would probably have voted for the last round of cuts in 2011 had he not been deputy speaker at the time.
TUC Stronger Unions blogBBC News Online Risks 65126 April 2014

Britain: Don’t fall for blacklisting payouts scam
Blacklisted workers are being told to steer clear of a compensation scheme set up by construction firms but not agreed with unions. Unions Unite and UCATT say the scheme is too restricted, too mean and won’t deliver justice.
UNITE news releaseUCATT news releaseRisks 65126 April 2014

Britain: Two-year delay in diagnosing lifting hernia
Heavy lifting at work can cause hernias, a union compensation case has confirmed – although it took two years before the affected worker’s health problem was acknowledged officially. The GMB member sustained a hernia when he had to move a heavy metal bench 100 feet from one side of a warehouse to the other.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 65012 April 2014

Britain: Auto assessor forced to retire after work fall
An automotive assessor employed by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council was forced to retire after a five foot fall at work. John Williams, a UNISON member for nine years, was leaning into a car on a mechanical ramp to inspect the handbrake when, without his knowledge, a trainee raised the ramp from ground level.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 64829 March 2014

Britain: Lugging school spuds caused shoulder injury
A kitchen worker at Pengar School in Llanelli was left in agony after continually lifting sacks of potatoes onto a trolley. The potato peeling machine in Tina Bowen’s school kitchen had been broken for a long time, so the UNISON member had to use a machine at a different school which required her to lift the heavy sacks of potatoes onto a trolley and push them across a car park.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 64829 March 2014

Britain: Support worker suffers career ending injury
A community care assistant from Swansea had to give up her job after she injured her back lifting at work. The UNISON member, 56, who has received an undisclosed payout, had asked her Swansea council employer for a sling with handles to make moving a heavy older man easier but the council failed to provide this additional support.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 64722 March 2014

Britain: Government nudges up asbestos cancer payouts
Victims of the fatal asbestos-induced cancer mesothelioma who can’t trace a liable employer or an employers’ liability insurer will from April be able to apply for compensation packages worth an average of £123,000. The payouts, which have been increased by the government after criticism from victims’ groups, are still 20 per cent short of the average from a normal civil claim.
DWP news releaseIrwin Mitchell news release Risks 64615 March 2014

Britain: Tata Steel in six figure payout to injured worker
An employee at a Tata Steel plant in Wales has secured £235,000 in compensation after a serious incident at work which almost cost him his leg. The 54-year-old Unite member was unable to work for a year and has since been seconded into a different, less physically demanding position within the company.
Thompsons Solicitors news release Risks 64615 March 2014

Britain: Window cleaning boss fined for insurance failings
The boss of a County Durham window cleaning firm has been fined for failing to prove he held the legally-required insurance that enables employees to claim compensation should they be injured at work. Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard that Jason Mawson was invited by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to voluntarily produce his insurance certificate on a number of occasions but he failed to do so.
HSE news releaseRisks 6458 March 2014

Britain: Injured prison worker wins landmark liability case
A prison catering manager seriously injured when an inmate dropped a 25kg (55lb) sack of food on her has had her compensation bid backed by top judges. Susan Cox's legal union team argued on appeal the prison service was liable for the inmate's actions in the same way that it would be responsible for the negligence of any employee.
Thompsons Solicitors news release BBC News OnlineRisks 6441 March 2014

Britain: Unite warning on claims management rip off
Unite is taking a professional negligence claim against two high street law firms who failed a former food worker with industrial deafness. The law firms, acting for a claims management company, were engaged after the former Northern Foods employee and Unite retired member responded to a radio ad by a company offering to investigate deafness cases.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6441 March 2014

Britain: Civil enforcement officer hit by dangerous driver
A civil enforcement officer from Leeds has received compensation after she was hit by a car while on duty. UNISON member Jane Cannan was walking down a road in Otley in West Yorkshire when a Land Rover driver lost control as he parked the vehicle.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6441 March 2014

Britain: Jack failure led to career-ending facial injury
A welder from Manchester suffered a facial fracture so severe it ended his career and left him on benefits and needing to wear a prosthetic mask when outdoors. The 49-year-old Unite member, whose name has not been released but who has receive a £500,000 payout, was working for the Hulme Group repairing commercial vehicles  when a hydraulic jack he was using to hold the metal in place gave way and struck him in the face.
Thompsons news releaseManchester Evening NewsRisks 64322 February 2014

Britain: Justice could be denied in Scotland
The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) has said it is “deeply disappointed” that victims of work-related injury and illness in Scotland are going to be denied a new, more efficient route to redress with proper representation. Commenting on newly announced provisions of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said:: “Having been initially led to believe that the reforms would allow victims the choice of having their case heard in the new specialist Personal Injury Court, we now understand that for many, possibly the majority, this facility will be denied.”
STUC news releaseRisks 64215 February 2014

Canada: Work-related breast cancer must be compensated
Compensation authorities in Canada should recognise cases of work-related breast cancer and approve payouts to those affected, a top cancer research has said. Michael Gilbertson, who co-authored a 2012 research paper demonstrating greatly elevated cancer risks in a range of occupations from farm work to metal and plastics manufacture (Risks 583), said: “When the precedent is set, it will be dramatic and will likely revolutionise breast cancer activism and the social movements involved in reform of environmental protection and occupational standards.”
Prevent Cancer NowRisks 6418 February 2014

Britain: Small college trip leads to big pain
A college lecturer who suffered a serious hip injury is a fall at work has received compensation. UCU member Neil Brindley, a college lecturer from Romford, was teaching a class when he stepped on a faulty power supply cover in the floor.
Thompsons Solicitors news release • Risks 6401 February 2014

Norway: Landmark win on mercury at work
Health workers exposed to mercury were harmed and should be compensated, Norway’s top court has ruled. Former dental nurse Bertha Regine Serigstad took the union-backed case against her government employer all the way to Norway’s Supreme Court.
PSI news reportRisks 63818 January 2013

Britain: Floor slip polished off career for prison officer
A former prison officer from Sunderland had to give up work after he fell on a polished floor while attending an alarm call. Prison Officers’ Association (POA) member David Hunter suffered multiple injuries including a scaphoid injury to his left hand, a tear to the rotator cuff in his left shoulder and bruising to his ribs.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 63818 January 2013

Britain: Injury cost gardener his job
A gardener couldn’t return to work for three years and eventually had to leave his job after suffering devastating injuries caused by a faulty lorry tailgate. The 52-year-old Unite member from Bristol, whose name has not been released, suffered neck and shoulder injuries and required three operations and physiotherapy over a period of two years to repair nerve damage to his spine.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseUnion NewsRisks 63818 January 2013

Britain: Government blocks justice for mesothelioma victims
Eight years ago the TUC proposed a no-fault fund of last resort for people who were injured or who developed any disease through work but where their employer had not got insurance, or the insurer could not be traced. Now a coalition government bill, which had been criticised by asbestos disease advocacy groups and unions for is every limited scope – it only compensates one asbestos cancer, mesothelioma - and reduced payouts, had its final stage in the Commons.
TUC Stronger Unions blogNorthern EchoWestern Morning NewsHuddersfield ExaminerRisks 63711 January 2014

Britain: Leg injured after firm left a hole in the floor
UNISON member Karen Dowling, a senior support worker with Leicester Housing Association, has received compensation after suffered a serious leg injury when she fell through a hole in the floor. The association had taken up up a board but not replaced it.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 63514 December 2013

Britain: Injury exposes back-breaking library work risks
A library assistant who suffered a manual handling injury while working for Flintshire County Council developed permanent back problems that mean she can no longer work. The 54-year-old UNISON member from Wales was instructed by council managers to help move 80,000 books from one area of the library to another over four months in 2008 and 2009.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 63514 December 2013

Britain: Actor was badly injured in on-stage duel
An award-winning actor who was blinded in one eye in a stage duel has won “substantial” damages in a union-backed claim. Equity member David Birrell, 47, took legal action after a blank-firing revolver he was using at London’s Donmar Warehouse misfired and he lost the sight in his right eye.
Equity news releaseLondon Evening StandardRisks 6347 December 2013

Britain: Sellafield leg amputee worker awarded settlement
A Unite member has been awarded a seven figure cash settlement after an incident at a nuclear plant in Cumbria led to part of his leg being amputated. Mechanical fitter Kenneth Brown, from Workington, was employed by a contractor at the Sellafield site when he was hit by a cherry picker in May 2011.
Unite news releaseBBC News OnlineMorning StarRisks 63116 November 2013

Britain: ASLEF supports member after tram derails
A tram driver suffered injuries to her left shoulder and ribs after a bus crashed into the side of her tram. Alison Dungate, a member of the train drivers’ union ASLEF, was driving over a busy intersection in Croydon in September 2008 when a bus drove into the front left-hand side of the tram with such force the tram was derailed.
Thompsons Solicitors news release • Risks 630 • 9 November 2013

USA: A double victim of a weak dust standard
Lax official dust exposure standards not only left a US worker sick, they cost him his compensation too. The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that furnace operator Randy Torris was properly denied the payouts because the company was compliant with dust standards enforced by the official workplace safety watchdog OSHA.
West Virginia Record • Risks 62826 October 2013

Britain: Injustice prolonged after firefighters’ deaths
Firefighters’ union FBU has said the families of two firefighters killed at work must be given peace and justice and not subjected to another painful court hearing. The union was commenting after an unsuccessful appeal this week by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service against a July High Court ruling saying it must pay compensation to the bereaved families of firefighter Geoff Wicker, 49, and fire service cameraman Brian Wembridge, 63.
FBU news release • Risks 626 12 October 2013

Britain: Northern Rail maintenance failures led to injury
A rail conductor left with a permanent back injury caused by improperly maintained equipment has received a £20,000 compensation settlement from his employer, Northern Rail. RMT member Andrew Madden from Pontefract ended up undergoing emergency surgery to his back and having a metal pin inserted in his wrist and being off work for 10 months.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6292 November 2013

Britain: Care home worker was badly burned
A care home worker with the now defunct Southern Cross company suffered severe burns while working at one of its Bristol care homes. The 67-year-old, whose name has not been released, has been left with scarring and sensitivity after burning her hand at a care home in the Nailsea area while preparing meals for the 60 elderly residents in 2011.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6292 November 2013

Britain: Safety ‘to do’ list didn’t get done
A Unite member was left with permanent damage to his wrist after a known safety problem went unresolved by global manufacturing company NSK Bearings. The 42-year-old production operative, whose name has not been released, fell heavily and fractured his wrist after his tripped over a fence post - investigation by Unite, which pursued a compensation claim on behalf of their injured member, found that removing the fence post had been on NSK Bearing’s ‘health and safety to do list’.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 6292 November 2013

Britain: Slip cost bus driver his job
A bus driver ended up losing his job after a bus company failed to grit its car park and he was injured when he slipped on ice. A Unite-backed compensation claim was due to be heard at Newcastle County Court in October 2013, but Go North East instead settled his claim for £130,000.
Beecham Peacock news releaseRisks 625 5 October 2013

Britain: Charities furious at one-sided asbestos consultation
Asbestos charities have expressed their fury to justice minister Helen Grant over what they believe is the excessive influence of the insurance industry on the government’s cancer compensation policy. In a 23 September meeting, the groups told justice minister Helen Grant the “partisan” consultation ‘Reforming Mesothelioma Claims’ would disadvantage people suffering from the always fatal asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.
Asbestos Forum news releasePost OnlineRisks 62428 September 2013

Britain: High price of a failure to fix a leaking tap
A firm has had to stump up £6,000 after its failure to fix a leaking tap led to a security guard suffering a serious knee injury. PCS member Colin Hillyard, 60, required knee surgery and had to take four months off work after slipping on a wet floor.
Thompsons Solicitors news release Risks 62428 September 2013

Britain: National Grid ‘ignored vibration risk’
A GMB member will suffer health problems for life after excessive exposure to vibrating work tools while employed by the National Grid. The man from Lincoln, whose name has not been release, had been employed as a craftsman by National Grid for 32 years, where his work regularly involved using tools such as jack hammers, whackers, rock drills and vibration rollers. 
Thompsons Solicitors new releaseRisks 62428 September 2013

Bangladesh: Workers still awaiting compensation
Five months after the devastating Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Bangladesh that claimed 1,129 lives and injured thousands of others, only one manufacturer has come forward to compensate the victims. Unions and victims groups are seeking $34.6 million compensation from the retailers who benefited from the workers conditions but a meeting in Geneva with retailers got nowhere after only nine of the twenty-eight brands that were supplied by Rana Plaza showed up.
IndustriALLSign SumOfUs.org's petition to River Island to sign up to a key safety plan for BangladeshRisks 62321 September 2013

Britain: Union points blame for compensation claims
A north-east England teaching union has said that cuts in health and safety regulation and poor school buildings are to blame for compensation payments made to teachers and pupils in the region. The local press have reported that more than £360,000 has been paid out to children and teachers involved in accidents at schools in the region over the past three years.
Chronicle. TUC on compensation cultureRisks 62321 September 2013

Canada: Justice sought with new asbestos registry
The union representing people who worked at a notorious asbestos mine on Newfoundland's Baie Verte Peninsula is demanding changes to eligibility criteria that prevented most of them from receiving compensation. The United Steelworkers union (USW) says health information gathered by the Baie Verte miners' registry shows people were unfairly denied compensation for diseases caused by exposure to chrysotile, or white, asbestos.
Baie Verte Miners Registry and Out of the fog film explaining the background to the registry. CBC News. March 2009 USW news release giving the background to the registry’s creation • TUC news releaseRisks 62214 September 2013

Britain: Unilever forced to pay up for safety hazards
A production line operative with Unilever suffered a bad injury to his left knee when an electrical fault caused a guard door to swing open. The Unite member was stacking empty ice cream tubs on a production line at the multinational’s Gloucestershire factory when he heard a loud bang and felt the guard door he was stood in front of swing sharply into his knee.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseTUC news releaseRisks 62214 September 2013

Britain: Faulty equipment caused worker’s life-long injury
Northampton-based KAB Seating Ltd has been brought to book by Unite after poor safety standards saw one of its members left with permanent damage to his hand. Machine operative Stephen Wallinger, 56, had to take six months off work and faced a surgical procedure to relieve intense pain in his left hand after sub-standard manufacturing equipment at the car seat factory led to the workplace injury.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseTUC news releaseRisks 62214 September 2013

Britain: Fire service ‘prolongs the pain’ for the bereaved
An appeal by a fire service against a court ruling that it should pay compensation after the deaths of two firefighters in a 2006 fireworks blaze will prolong the pain for the bereaved, firefighters’ union FBU has said.
FBU news release and statement on Stephen HuntRisks 621 • 7 September 2013

Britain: Worker suffers hand damage at brake factory
A Unite member from Hartlepool who lost part of his finger and suffered nerve damage after his hand was trapped in a faulty machine at work has been awarded more than £25,000 in compensation. Gordon Cranney, a production operative at TMD Friction, was trying to release a jammed brake pad when his hand became trapped.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 621 • 7 September 2013

Britain: Six years of trauma after nail gun injury
A joiner had to endure a six year medical and legal battle following a workplace injury  involving a nail gun. Patrick Meek, a joiner from Gloucestershire. was injured while making wooden pallets in the summer of 2007 because he hadn’t been trained to safely and securely stabilise the wood.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 621 • 7 September 2013

Britain: Pallet truck crushes foot
A lorry loader from Oxfordshire was left with tendon and ligament damage when his foot was crushed at work. The Bidvest Logistics employee, whose name has not been released, was loading the back of a lorry when a colleague driving a powered pallet truck (PPT) crashed into him and trapped his left foot.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 62031 August 2013

Britain: Firm fined for failing to hold insurance
A Sunderland firm has been fined for failing to hold the statutory insurance that enables employees to claim compensation if they are injured at work. An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following ‘information received’ suggesting Sun Spirit Ltd was uninsured. Sunderland Magistrates' Court heard that HSE inspectors found the company did not hold any Employer's Liability Compulsory Insurance between 9 February and 13 December 2012.
HSE news releaseRisks 61924 August 2013

Britain: Worker injured by dodgy press
A machine operator had his finger crushed in a faulty press – and became one of the last people to receive “strict liability” compensation before it was ended as part of insurer-friendly government cuts. Tony Render, 51, was injured while using the press in 2011 at a Federal Mogul Ltd factory in Bradford that manufactured hinge pins for the car industry.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 61924 August 2013

Britain: Night worker injured by railway sleeper
A rail freight worker was injured while conducting a night-time safety check on a Carlisle railway line. Unite member Stephen Adams, 51, who worked for the rail freight operating company DB Schenker Rail UK Limited, was walking a rail route in the early hours of the morning in October 2010 when he tripped on a railway sleeper that had been left on the walkway.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 61924 August 2013

Britain: Injury is a 'wake-up call' for nurseries
A back injury court win for a nursery worker has highlighted a lack of awareness in the sector of the importance of workplace risk assessments, an expert has said. Aileen Cooper, who worked at Bright Horizons Rothamsted Little Stars Nursery in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, secured a legal victory at the High Court, which found the nursery group to be liable for her severe disability, caused by placing a baby in a defective cot, after she developed a rare condition known as Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Nursery WorldRisks 61817 August 2013

Britain: Judge backs workers on protective footwear
Employers should provide protective footwear to staff who work outdoors, a court has ruled. The Court of Session in Edinburgh made the landmark ruling in a UNISON-backed legal case involving care worker Tracey Kennedy who fell on an icy path outside a patient's home.
Digby Brown Solicitors news releaseOpinion of Lord McEwanGlasgow HeraldBBC News OnlineRisks 61817 August 2013

Britain: Chemical spill led to painful slip
An Alcan Aluminium employee needed knee surgery after slipping on a chemical that had leaked onto a workshop floor. The GMB member from Newbiggin by the Sea was repairing a large crucible pot used at the now mothballed factory, which made aluminium products at the site in Lynemouth, Northumberland.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 61817 August 2013

Britain: Factory noise led to tinnitus
A machine operator was left with serious hearing difficulties after his employers failed to provide him with appropriate hearing protection. Joseph Shaw now requires a hearing aid due to the damage caused by the noisy machinery at engineering firms Warrington Wheel and Titan Distribution and Thames Board Mills.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseRisks 61710 August 2013

Britain: TUC hits back after new compo attacks
The TUC has criticised a new push by insurers and the government to limit access to compensation. The union rebuttal came after Axa chief Paul Evans told the Daily Telegraph that “compensation culture is becoming a real issue for society”, and justice minister Helen Grant said: “We are turning the tide on the compensation culture which has pushed up the cost of insurance for drivers, schools and business – and taking another important step to reducing the cost of living for ordinary people.”
Ministry of Justice news releaseThompsons Solicitors news release. • Daily TelegraphRobbed!, Hazards magazineRisks 61710 August 2013

Justice prevails after firefighter deaths
Firefighters’ union FBU has welcomed a High Court judgment supporting the families of two firefighters killed in a fireworks blaze at Marlie Farm in 2006. The court concluded East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service must pay compensation to the bereaved families of firefighter Geoff Wicker, 49, and fire service cameraman Brian Wembridge, 63.
FBU news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 6163 August 2013

Britain: Government dishonesty over 'compensation culture’
The government is being dishonest about the UK's 'compensation culture' in order to justify cutting basic health and safety protections at work, according to a TUC-backed report. The report, by the workers' health journal Hazards, shows that far from being a compensation free-for-all, as ministers claim, the number of people actually receiving awards for work-related injuries or diseases has fallen by 60 per cent over the last decade - down from 219,183 in 2000/01 to 87,655 in 2011/12.
TUC news releaseRobbed!, Hazards magazine, Number 122, 2013The IndependentThe MirrorThe HeraldHuffington Post and related storyFinancial TimesThe Information DailyInternational Business TimesRisks 6163 August 2013

Britain: Thousands lose out because of cruel asbestos law
Campaigners fighting for compensation for asbestos victims have warned the government that thousands of people will be denied justice if it doesn’t strengthen its new Mesothelioma Bill. Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum chair Tony Whitston said that the mesothelioma sufferers and their families were “bitterly disappointed” at the insurers' refusal to pay 100 per cent compensation and to backdate those payments to at least February 2010.
Morning StarGet SurreyIBAS Mesothelioma Day round-upRisks 61527 July 2013

Britain: School slip cost worker her job
An infant school worker was forced to give up the job she loved after badly damaging her knees when she slipped on spilled liquid and fell. The 60-year-old senior early learning years practitioner, had to undergo five operations, including two complex knee replacements.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 61313 July 2013

Britain: Safety slip up led to punctured lung
A 64-year-old factory worker was left with broken ribs and a punctured lung after his employer failed to comply with workplace health and safety regulations and he slipped on a wet shower room floor. Terrence Featherstone, from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, was working as a production operative for Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd at the time of the incident.
Thompsons SolicitorsRisks 61129 June 2013

Britain: Union seeks compensation for fall victim
A union is to seek compensation for a worker paralysed in a workplace fall. GMB announced it was planning legal action on behalf of Phillip Gates after his supervisor was fined for criminal safety breaches.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 61129 June 2013

USA: Injured workers don’t claim compensation
Over a third of work-related injuries seen in US emergency rooms are not the subject of a workers’ compensation claim, with the figure rising to almost half for occupational diseases, a new study has found. The study, published in the journal Health Services Research by researchers with the US government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), analysed four years of data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS), a representative sample of US emergency room visits. 
Groenewold MR and Baron SL. The proportion of work-related emergency department visits not expected to be paid by Workers' Compensation: Implications for occupational health surveillance, research, policy, and health equity, Health Services Research, 13 May 2013, published online ahead of print. The Pump Handle blogRisks 6088 June 2013

Canada: Golden axe exposes compensation cuts
The Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups has unveiled a golden axe in protest at cuts to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board system. The network says there has been a dramatic increase in the number of claims refused by the board, coinciding with an “austerity programme” that saw a Can$631 million reduction in payouts from 2010-2011.
Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups news release8 June 2013

Britain: Injured site workers too scared to claim
Construction workers who suffer preventable accidents at work are putting job security before personal safety because they are too afraid to take legal action, a survey of 200 injured workers has found. Personal injury law firm Fletchers Solicitors, which carried out the study, said it has witnessed a 20 per cent decrease in accident at work claims over the past year.
SHP OnlineRisks 6088 June 2013

Britain: Bus cleaner nearly killed by flesh eating disease
A worker was “four hours from death” after being infected by a flesh eating disease caused by a piece of metal left on the floor at work, with the injury leading to the amputation of her left leg. Izzy Lloyd, 49, was working at an Arriva Southern Counties Limited bus depot in Maidstone on 6 April 2010 when she was injured as she alighted from the bus she had been cleaning in the engineering bay.
Unite news releaseKent OnlineRisks 6088 June 2013

Britain: BAE pays out after driller’s wrist injury
A GMB member had to give up his trade as a driller when he suffered a serious wrist injury at work. The 29-year-old from Barrow in Furness is now stuck in a desk-based job as a quality assurance engineer after suffering a fractured wrist and torn ligaments when the drill he was manoeuvring suddenly spun around because it had not been fitted with a safety switch.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60518 May 2013

Britain: Whitehall security bollard injured a driver
A delivery driver had to undergo surgery for an injury he sustained while exiting a secure area in Whitehall. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union member was leaving Whitehall in a work van on 8 September 2009 when a submerged security bollard he was driving over was released prematurely by a police officer.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60411 May 2013

Britain: Defective crane leads to deformed finger
A plater’s finger has been left deformed after it crushed by a defective crane. The 26-year-old GMB member from Gateshead, whose name has not been released, now has a mangled and desensitised left index finger which he cannot fully bend after the incident at an unnamed multinational on Wearside.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60411 May 2013

Britain: Compensation move puts ideology over justice
The passage of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act means workers will only be able to claim compensation for a workplace injury or disease if they can demonstrate employer negligence, even if it is accepted that employer had broken criminal safety laws. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said:  “It is about bare, raw political ideology from the anti-worker pro-business Tory hawks.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogRisks 6034 May 2013

Britain: Dry liner survives 35ft ladder fall
A self-employed construction worker suffered multiple injuries in a 35ft fall from an unsecured ladder, but at least secured compensation thanks to his union membership. The 26-year-old GMB member from Torrington, Devon, was lucky to survive when his ladder slipped and he fell from the third floor of a new build house onto a concrete floor. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60227 April 2013

Britain: Government forces through law to rob injured workers
The government has successfully pushed through a new law that will remove the right to claim compensation for injuries caused by a criminal breach of workplace health and safety regulations. The change was spelled out in an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which received Royal Assent on 25 April and now becomes law. UNISON news releaseThompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60227 April 2013

Britain: Surgical team worker suffers back injury
A member of a surgical team who suffered a back injury while manoeuvring a patient has received £21,500 compensation. The 49-year-old GMB member from Cornwall has been left with long term back pain following the injury while working at Derriford Hospital.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60120 April 2013

Britain: Injury move ‘a charter for rogue employers’
A government plan that will make it harder for workers to claim legitimate compensation for injuries at work has been criticised by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors’ union Prospect. The union condemnation came after a 16 April vote by MPs to over-rule the House of Lords and go ahead with plans to remove the right to use criminal breaches of safety law by an employer as grounds for a personal injury compensation claim by a worker suffering an occupational injury or disease.
Prospect news releaseEnterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill debate, House of Commons, 16 April 2013, Hansard report • TUC briefing on the BillRisks 60120 April 2013

Britain: FBU defends injured firefighters
Firefighters who are injured at work are entitled to and should seek compensation, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said. FBU highlighted the case of firefighters who were poisoned by Campylobacter bacteria during a water training course in Nottingham, with several becoming ill with serious stomach complaints, and some developing lifelong bowel problems as a result.
FBU news releaseRisks 60120 April 2013

Britain: Care worker assaulted five times
A care worker attacked five times by a teenager who should have been placed in a secure unit has been left unable to work. The youngster was not moved to a secure unit until April 2009, three months after the final assault on the UNISON member, by which time she was off work.
UNISON news releaseRisks 60120 April 2013

[compo] Britain: Factory noise caused deafness
A Unite member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise at work for over 25 years developed occupational deafness and tinnitus as a result. The 58-year-old from Loughborough, whose hearing became damaged while working for Brush Electrical Machines from 1986, received £9,500 in damages in a union-backed compensation case. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60120 April 2013

Britain: Fall cuts short worker’s career
A civilian police worker had to retire early after injuring his back when he fell down a flight of stairs. The 61-year-old GMB member badly injured his back in the fall at West Yorkshire Police headquarters in Wakefield in November 2008.  
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 60013 April 2013

Britain: Steel employee injured in ammonia fog
A steelworker suffered a serious shoulder injury after his vision was clouded by ammonia vapour. Unite member Phillip Walters, 54, a shift support technician at the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, was walking past an incinerator when it blew out a cloud of ammonia vapour temporarily affecting his sight.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 599 • 30 March 2013

Britain: Injury after firm provided wrong equipment
A factory worker suffered a fractured foot after he was provided with the wrong type of equipment to move heavy alloy bars. GMB member Michael Kirby, 47, suffered two fractured metatarsals in his left foot and was off work for seven weeks following the incident at Ross & Catherall Ltd in Sheffield.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 599 • 30 March 2013

Britain: Rail worker compensated for vibration injury
An RMT member who suffered permanent damage to his hands caused by excessive levels of vibration from workplace tools has received a ‘substantial sum’ in compensation. Kevin Thornton, 48, developed hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), a condition which causes numbness and loss of grip, through working with vibrating tools for 22 years for Network Rail and its predecessors, including British Rail.
Thompsons Solicitors news release • New TUC guide on hand-arm vibration syndromeRisks 59823 March 2013

Canada: Court recognises diesel cancer
A mining union has welcomed a decision by the Superior Court in Quebec, Canada, which has recognised the diesel exhaust-related lung cancer suffered by a mining worker as an occupational disease. “This is a very important decision, because it's the first time that a causal link between lung cancer and diesel smoke exposure has been recognised,” said union representative Marc Thibodeau.
USW news releaseRisks 59716 March 2013

Britain: Unions welcome government defeat on payouts
A decision by peers to throw out a government plan that would have denied some injured workers compensation has been hailed as a “victory for common sense” by unions.
UNISON news releasePCS news releaseHansard report on Lords Report stage debate - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, amendment 80A, 6 March 2013 • TUC briefing on the Bill Risks 59716 March 2013

Britain: Wrists at risk wherever you work
Two cases where workers in very different industries suffered broken wrists show it is bad management and not any unavoidable risk of the job that causes workplace injuries. Unite member Ian Jones suffered such a bad break to his wrist in a fall at a Heinz factory in Wigan and a prison worker’s left wrist was fractured when it was crushed by a broken down workplace van.
Thompsons Solicitors news releases on the Unite and PCS casesRisks 59716 March 2013

Britain: Government defeated on compensation changes
A government move to limit compensation for work-related injuries and ill-health has been rejected by the House of Lords. Ministers had wanted to end “civil liability” on employers, meaning compensation would only be payable if negligence was established, even where the employer was found to be in breach of criminal safety laws.
Hansard report on Lords Report stage debate - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, amendment 80A, 6 March 2013 • TUC briefing on the BillTUC Stronger Unions blogRisks 5969 March 2013

Britain: Joiner developed life-threatening wood allergy
A joiner developed a wood allergy which could have killed him after working without adequate protection from Iroko hardwood dust. Brian Ogden, 57, was first exposed to the toxic dust at Classic Joinery Manufacturers in Oldham over 20 years ago.
Manchester Evening NewsRisks 59423 February 2013

Britain: Overwork led to serious airport injury
An airport worker suffered a broken back when a seriously overworked colleague lost control of a motorised vehicle at Stansted Airport. Mick Draper, 64, from Braintree, Essex was injured in March 2009 when a colleague drove a buggy, used for transporting trailers full of luggage, into a trolley Mr Draper was attending to as part of his job for Swissport.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 59423 February 2013

Britain: Eye injury ends lorry driver’s career
An HGV driver employed by Salvesen Logistics in Northampton had to give up his driving licence and lost his job after suffering a serious eye injury at work. Karl Forkin, 43, was securing a trailer in Salvesen Logistic’s yard when one of the trailer’s upright roof supports sprang out of the locked position and hit him in the face with two tonnes of force.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 59316 February 2013

Britain: Union helping hand for worker’s broken hand
A Unite member injured when he stepped in a sunken drain cover as he fixed a company vehicle in the early hours of the morning has received compensation. Vehicle mechanic Peter Day from Swansea was injured when he was working on a broken down Allied Bakeries delivery lorry parked on the bakery premises.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5912 February 2013

Britain: JCB vehicle fluids caused dermatitis
A GMB member developed a painful skin condition after being exposed to known irritants in the workplace. The 52-year-old from Stafford, whose name has not been released, developed dermatitis after he was exposed to brake fluid and a rust inhibitor while working for JC Bamford Excavators (JCB) in Rocester.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5912 February 2013

Britain: Healthcare worker partially blinded by spit
A healthcare worker has lost most of the sight in her left eye after a service user spat in it. The 32-year-old UNISON member is awaiting a corneal transplant after an incident at Low Moor Resource Centre in Bradford left her with only 20 per cent vision in the eye.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 59026 January 2013

Britain: Workplace blighted by vibration disease
A Sheffield steel firm has been forced to pay out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation after 19 workers developed a debilitating condition caused by work with vibrating tools.  In one of the highest awards ever paid out by the courts, the Community members at Sheffield based metals company, Firth Rixon, have, in total, been awarded over £812,000 in compensation after suffering from vibration white finger (VWF).
Community news releaseRisks 59026 January 2013

Britain: Enterprise Bill ‘stacks odds against workers’
Government plans to change workplace law are a license for rogue bosses to let safety standards fall, personal injury experts have warned. Not-for-profit group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is lobbying against a government amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which would end a right to compensation for an injury following a criminal breach of safety law by an employer without proof of negligence.
APIL news releaseClause 61: Civil liability for breach of health and safety duties, Lords committee hearing, 14 January 2013 • Risks 58919 January 2013

Britain: CWU gives bad footwear the boot
The union CWU has won a legal test case over slippery boots issued to postal workers. A number of workers were injured wearing the Hi-Tec Magnum Mk1 boots, which workers maintained had poor grip and durability.
Daily MailRisks 58919 January 2013

Britain: Carillion liable for night worker’s injury
A road maintenance worker working in the dark on an unlit stretch of the A52 needed surgery on a badly damaged ankle after he suffered a fall. Dean Ness, 35, was off work for three months following the operation to mend torn ligaments in his ankle when he stumbled on the kerb while putting cones on the road at Spondon, Derby.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58812 January 2013

Britain: Lorry fall leads to vertigo
A lorry driver suffered a head injury and lasting health problems after he fell six foot from his truck. The Unite member from Rowley Regis, whose name has not been released, was employed as a delivery driver for RJ Haulage Ltd.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58812 January 2013

Britain: Damaged skin points to missing gloves
A mechanical engineer developed a painful skin condition when he was exposed to chemicals at work. The 59-year-old Unite member from Plymouth, whose name has not been released, developed dermatitis after he was exposed to several different chemicals in his role as an engineer for Camtec Engineering Ltd.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58812 January 2013

Britain: Two injuries led to no job
A medical assistant who was injured twice moving heavy trays of equipment while working for the NHS was forced to give up her job. The 47-year-old Unite member from Staines, whose name has not been released, was left with chronic pain syndrome in her neck, shoulder and wrist after the incidents at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust’s central sterilising department.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5841 December 2012

Britain: Hospital pays after ignoring injury warnings
A hospital worker who injured her shoulders and neck jerking a defective curtain around a patient's bed has been awarded £50,000 in compensation. Linda Mitchell, 59, sustained the injuries at Belford Hospital, Fort William, Scotland.
Daily MailRisks 5841 December 2012

Britain: Branch secretary compensated after help from union
Unite Barking and Dagenham branch secretary Adele Kaplan has received compensation with the help of her union. Mrs Kaplan ended up on crutches for six weeks after she fell on uneven paving and fractured her foot.
Thompsons news releaseRisks 5858 December 2012

Britain: Lords criticise plans to end strict liability
Injured workers will be disadvantaged if the government goes ahead with a plan to end the strict liability of employers for safety offences, the House of Lords has heard. An amendment inserted in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill by the government seeks to change safety law to remove the right of individuals to make civil compensation claims for criminal breaches of statutory health and safety duties.
Report of House of Lords debate on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, Hansard, 14 November 2012. Unite news releaseTUC briefingIER briefing
Sign the petition opposing the changesRisks 58324 November 2012

Britain: Driving instructor forced to change direction
A driving examiner knocked off his motorbike by a car suffered injuries so severe they forced him to change jobs and give up bike riding. PCS member Daryl Donaldson, 49, was able to return to work after six months but was unable to ride a motorbike and, after the operation on his right wrist and more than a year off work, lost his job on capability grounds.
PCS news releaseRisks 58324 November 2012

Britain: Prison officer suffered a fractured jaw
A prison officer who was attacked by an inmate who had been transferred from HMP Broadmoor because of bad behaviour has received compensation after it was revealed prison staff hadn’t been warned about the prisoner's aggressive history. The 45-year-old Prison Officers Association (POA) member from Bicester suffered a badly fractured jaw in the attack at HMP Bullingdon, a category B prison.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58217 November 2012

Britain: ‘Savaged’ criminal injuries scheme to go ahead
The introduction later this month of a ‘savaged’ version of the government scheme to compensate people injured in violent crimes has been condemned by retail union Usdaw. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has confirmed that the revised Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) will come into force on 27 November.
Usdaw news release and CICA email announcement and CICA webpages and application detailsRisks 58217 November 2012

Britain: Gas depot worker suffers horrific injuries
A supervisor at a gas depot suffered life threatening injuries in a huge gas blast, leading to his medical retirement. The 56-year-old Unite member from Bristol suffered severe burns to his head, leg, wrists, ears and back in the horrific incident.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58110 November 2012

Britain: Tightfisted firm caused painful hands
An engineering worker developed a debilitating skin condition after his employer refused to provide new gloves because they were too expensive. The 49-year-old Unite member from Birmingham, whose name has not been released, developed dermatitis after he was exposed to mineral oil in his role as a press setter for LTI Ltd in Coventry. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 58110 November 2012

Britain: Ministers ‘stacked’ committee on crime payouts
Unions and Labour have accused the government of “stacking” a parliamentary committee to ensure that controversial changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) were passed. Shadow justice minister Robert said: “They had to pack the committee with effectively the payroll vote because they couldn't rely on ordinary backbenchers.”
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, House of Commons Debate, Hansard, 7 November 2012 • Usdaw news releaseCWU news releaseBBC News OnlineMorning StarRisks 58110 November 2012

Britain: TUC slams changes to liability laws
The TUC has strongly criticised moves to prevent workers from gaining compensation when they are injured and the employer has broken a health and safety law that has 'strict liability'. In these cases the employer cannot claim that they did everything 'reasonably practical', but can be convicted simply for not obeying the law.
TUC briefingRisks 5803 November 2012

Britain: Government ploughs on with compensation cuts
The TUC has condemned the reintroduction of proposals to cut compensation for workers who are the victims of crime through their work. Proposals to slash payments were introduced by the government earlier this yet and then withdrawn in September following cross-party opposition, but have now been hurriedly reintroduced in exactly the same form as before, despite a promise to reconsider the proposals and bring them back 'in a better form'.
APIL news releaseRisks 5803 November 2012

Britain: School worker suffers bromine poisoning
A school science technician was poisoned by toxic bromine gas after staff complaints about a poorly ventilated chemical cupboard were ignored. UNISON member April Walsh, 34, was exposed to bromine fumes while working as a senior science technician at Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57820 October 2012

Britain: Government in new attack on safety
A government amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is “completely illogical” and “also sends a clear signal to bosses that the safety of workers is no longer to be considered a priority,” according to a not-for-profit legal group. Karl Tonks, the president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said changing the law on civil liability could not be justified.
APIL news releaseHansard report of 16 October 2012 House of Commons debate. BIS updates on the progress of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform BillASLEF news releaseRisks 57820 October 2012

Britain: Unions condemn attack on violent crime victims
Indications the government may proceed with plans to slash compensation for people injured by criminals have been greeted with dismay by unions. Ministers want to cut a quarter of the £200m awarded annually by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in a move that has attracted criticism from senior Tories as well as unions and legal experts.
Usdaw news releaseThe ObserverRisks 57713 October 2012

Britain: Faulty crane linked to crushed foot
A welder needed surgery after a steel beam fell on his foot from a faulty crane. The 51-year-old GMB member from Wetherby, who suffered severe crush injuries including a broken big toe and a large open wound in his foot, received an undisclosed payout.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57713 October 2012

Britain: Cleaner felled by building debris
A cleaner fractured her foot when she slipped on debris from building works as she walked to work along an unlit pathway. The RMT member from Pwllypant Caerphilly, whose name has not been released, was walking to Arriva Trains’ Canton Depot, where she was due to begin a night shift cleaning trains, when she fell.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57713 October 2012

Britain: Union concern at new crime compensation threat
Retail union Usdaw has expressed concern at a second attempt by the government to force through cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The proposed cuts mean 90 per cent of the 30,000 injured crime victims currently helped each year would see their compensation slashed or axed completely.
Usdaw news releaseHouse of Commons future business.Risks 5766 October 2012

Britain: Asbestos widow driven to a nervous breakdown
A Bradford woman who has won a six-year compensation battle over her husband’s death from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma says no amount of money will ever repay her for the toll it has taken on her own health. Margaret Cooper, who suffered a nervous breakdown after dealing with her husband’s illness and death, will find out in November from the High Court exactly how much she will be awarded in a legal case backed by the construction union UCATT.
Telegraph & ArgusRisks 5766 October 2012

Britain: Drainage worker suffered serious facial injury
A Unite member was left with a three inch scar after he was hit in the face by a high pressure hose. The 60-year-old from Dagenham, was using the hose to unblock a sewer at a council house in Hornchurch as part of his role on a drainage team for Morrisons Facilities Services, owned by Anglian Water Services.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5766 October 2012

Britain: Body shop worker made deaf
A GMB member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by his former employer has been compensated. David Neall, 61, received £10,000 in damages after developing occupational tinnitus and hearing loss as a result of working for JB Weightmans, a vehicle body builders in Scunthorpe, from 1966 to 2005.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5766 October 2012

Britain: Safety breaches implicated in mine death
The family of a miner crushed to death by a giant boulder has received compensation. After a lengthy legal battle, union solicitors were able to prove his employer’s failure to follow health and safety rules contributed to the tragedy. NUM member Steve Cosh from Bath was 37 when he died in September 2006 after a roof collapse at Stoke Hill Mine, owned by Bath Stone Group.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57529 September 2012

Britain: First aid trip ends in injury
A GMB member badly damaged her leg at work after a pothole on a public road caused her to fall on top of a trolley full of first aid supplies. The 38-year-old from Nottingham, whose name has not been released, was left suffering from severe bruising to her left leg.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57529 September 2012

Britain: Cyclist knocked off his bike en route to work
A cyclist was left unable to work after his back was fractured in a collision with a car on his way to work. Sixty-two year old Unite member Gordon – whose surname has not been released - had to give up his job of 20 years as a fitter/turner for Bombardier after the incident, the first Gordon had experienced in 40 years of commuting to work by bike. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57529 September 2012

Britain: Criminal injury compensation cuts shelved
Unions CWU and Usdaw have welcomed a decision not to proceed with drastic cuts to scheme to compensate victims of violent crime, but are seeking assurances from the government after the Ministry of Justice indicated the idea may have been just shelved rather than dropped entirely.
Usdaw news releaseCWU news release and briefing for MPsHouse of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee, 10 September 2012 • BBC News OnlineRisks 57315 September 2012

Britain: Civil servant suffered permanent injuries in attack
A Newcastle civil servant who had both his arms broken in an unprovoked assault whilst he was walking home, has been awarded damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Gary Miller, 47, was just a few metres from his home when he was assaulted by two men in April 2009.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 57315 September 2012

Britain: Insurer drags its feet on sore skin payout
A factory worker who developed painful dermatitis after he was exposed to harmful materials at work has received compensation in spite of an insurer’s delaying tactics. Paul Eames, 47, was exposed to epoxy resin at Hepworth Building Products in Swandlicote, a part of Wavin UK Holdings.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseBurton MailRisks 57315 September 2012

Britain: Car transporter driver ruptured Achilles
A driver who ruptured his Achilles tendon at work is still suffering from the effects two and a half years later. Unite member Kenan Mason, 49, got his foot caught in the plate covering the hydraulic pipes and air lines of a car transporter in January 2010 whilst he was loading cars at Southampton Docks.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5728 September 2012

Britain: Injuries set back star apprentice
A talented apprentice suffered multiple injuries that stalled his progress when a car ploughed into his Ford Fiesta as he made his way to a training course. Unite member Scott Dennis, 22, was housebound for four months after the BMW ploughed into him when its driver swerved to avoid a van.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5728 September 2012

Britain: Blacksmith gets union-enhanced asthma payout
A council blacksmith who developed asthma when he was exposed to dangerous fumes from metalworking fluids has been awarded a payout six times the original offer from his employer, thanks to help from his union. GMB member Simon Litherland, 47, was eventually awarded £104,000 in damages when the union-backed case went to court.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5711 September 2012

Britain: Worker off for two years after bank injury
Another worker has won compensation for a serious injury received in an industry deemed by the government to be 'low risk'. Bank cashier, Mary Deller, who has not worked for almost two years after suffering a back injury while lifting bags of money, has been awarded more than £18,000 from former employer NatWest.
Kent onlineRisks 57025 August 2012

Britain: Runaway trolley crushes leg
Multinational company Cape Industrial Services employee Colin Fletcher has received £70,000 after his leg was broken when working at Drax power station. He needed an operation requiring a bone graft from his hip and a metal plate inserted into his knee and still suffers on-going pain. Cape Industrial Services admitted liability and settled out of court. Thompsons news releaseRisks 57025 August 2012

Britain: Binman loses leg under bin wagon
A refuse collector who was run over by the bin wagon had to have his leg amputated. UNISON member Kenneth Armstrong, 50, from Barry in South Glamorgan, who has  received a £400,000 payout, needs to use a prosthetic limb following the incident in October 2009.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56918 August 2012

Britain: Probation worker buried in barrows
A Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust worker had to change jobs after she was badly injured when she fell at work and seven metal wheelbarrows came down on top of her. The 45-year-old UNISON member, whose name has not been released but who received a £45,000 payout, was left suffering from severe long term back and hip pain after she tripped on a builders’ line and fell.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56918 August 2012

Britain: Fall outside hospital leads to operation
A healthcare assistant ended up having knee surgery after falling in the hospital grounds. The 63-year-old UNISON member from Colchester, whose name has not been released, was walking from the staff car park to the entrance of Colchester General Hospital on an evening in May 2010.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 569 18 August 2012

Britain: Compensation bill follows fine at work death firm
The family of a maintenance engineer who was killed at work has received compensation. The 43-year-old Unite member, who worked for printing giant Wyndeham Peterborough, died after being crushed by the printing press he was trying to fix. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 567 4 August 2012

Painter gets whiplash from scaffold limbo
A painter was off work for three months after suffering whiplash injuries when he struck his head ducking under a scaffold bar deliberately positioned at waist height across a walkway. The 22-year-old Unite member from Kent, whose name has not been released, was injured whilst working for CBI Ltd on the Isle of Grain, Rochester.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 567 4 August 2012

Britain: Hospital hand rub caused sore skin
A hospital worker developed painful dermatitis after being made to use a strong alcohol-based hand rub up to 40 times a shift. GMB member Georgina Thornton, 62, was eventually forced to leave her job as a lead healthcare assistant for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth because the skin on her hands became so sensitive to the alcohol rub she developed painful reoccurring sores.
Thompsons Solicitors news releasePlymouth HeraldRisks 567 4 August 2012

Britain: UK Coal pays damages to injured fitter
A UK Coal worker who was badly injured in a car crash at work and went on to develop a chronic career-ending condition has received more than £419,000 in compensation. The 36-year-old Unite member from Newthorpe is in constant pain in his right shoulder and arm since the incident in 2007 when a colleague crashed the UK Coal van they were travelling in into a tree.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56628 July 2012

Britain: Forklift crushed worker’s leg
A factory worker whose leg was crushed when he was run over by a forklift truck has received compensation after help from his trade union. The 61-year-old Unite member from Rugby was left with crush injuries to his left leg after it became trapped under the 2.5 tonne truck when he was knocked over at Cov Press in Coventry, where he works as a print operator.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56628 July 2012

Britain: New asbestos fund must be extended say unions
A new government fund to compensate some asbestos disease victims is much too limited, the TUC has said. The union body said the fund announced this week is limited to people who have the cancer mesothelioma but who until now have been unable to claim because their employer no longer exists and the responsible insurer cannot be traced.
TUC news releaseDWP news releaseUCATT news releaseRisks 56628 July 2012

Britain: Stabbed social worker wins right to sue
A social worker stabbed by a psychiatric patient has won a Court of Appeal case giving her the right to sue two health authorities responsible for her attacker’s care. UNISON member Claire Selwood worked for Durham County Council and was responsible for the care of the patient’s child.
UNISON news releaseCommunity CareRisks 56628 July 2012

Britain: Coca Cola worker suffers chemical burns to eyes
A Coca Cola worker feared he had been blinded after he had powerful cleaning chemicals sprayed in his eyes when a pipe burst on the factory floor. Unite member John Houghton, 56, suffered the injury after a colleague stepped on a pipe full of a hot caustic cleaning substance used to clean the lines of a machine in the process of making Coke. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56521 July 2012

Britain: ‘Underhand’ insurer tried to dupe injury victim
Trade union GMb is warning members who are injured at work not to accept offers of compensation from their employers or insurance companies without taking independent legal advice. Factory worker Shaun Powell, whose foot was crushed by a huge metal beam while working for Joseph Ash Chesterfield Ltd, was called into work by a senior manager and offered just £1,700 in compensation by the employer’s insurer, but has now received more than £122,000 with the support of the union’s legal service.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56521 July 2012

Britain: Sports mad fitter not fit enough after injury
A mechanical fitter who was badly injured when he was struck by 15 kilos of unsecured cabling has been forced to abandon his sporting pastimes. Nathan Byron, 34, suffered a hairline fracture and ligament damage to his right shoulder as well as a neck injury when a large section of cabling fell from 15ft above him as he worked inside a huge generator. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56521 July 2012

Britain: School’s out for caretaker injured in fall
A Nottingham school caretaker who was injured when he fell from a stepladder at work while trying to repair a faulty window had to take medical retirement as a result. The unnamed UNISON member, who was 64 when the incident occurred in 2008, suffering tendon damage to his neck and left shoulder, making it painful to work with his hands above head height. 
UNISON news releaseRisks 5637 July 2012

Britain: Injured groundsman never returned to work
A council groundsman suffered a knee injury at work so serious he wasn’t able to return to his job. UNISON member John Brown, 65, from Mitcham in Surrey needed surgery on his right knee after he suffered ligament damage when he tripped on a piece of protruding concrete at Morden Recreational Ground.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5637 July 2012

Britain: Vibration failures cost worker his job
National Grid has been made to twice pay compensation to a worker who was forced to take medical retirement, aged just 48. Keith Rydings, now 49, developed painful carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) after working with vibrating tools for employer National Grid Gas, but six years later, new management made him use vibrating tools again.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56230 June 2012

Britain: Pipe fitter suffered serious scalding
A self-employed pipe fitter was left with a nine inch scar on his thigh after he was scalded by boiling water. Unite member Graham Tyers, 61, needed to take five weeks off work as a result of the injury, which happened when he was working as a sub-contractor for Ailsen Limited.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56230 June 2012

Britain: Brain damaged worker gets lifetime care package
The family of a Bristol man left fighting for his life after he was hit on the head by a section of scaffold pole that fell 18 floors down a lift shaft is calling for improved health and safety in the construction industry after he had an undisclosed ‘substantial’ seven figure lifetime care package approved at Bristol High Court. Father-of-five Richard Chodkiewicz, 54, was left with horrific, life changing head injuries as a result of the July 2008 incident during the construction of the Radisson Blu Hotel in the city. It was almost 18 months before.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 56123 June 2012

Britain: Traumatised gardener left unprotected from pricks
A gardener contracted a life-threatening infection because his employer ignored his requests for thorn-proof gloves. The 59-year-old from Derbyshire, whose name has not been released, was in intensive care for two weeks after being pricked by the Berberis bush whilst working as a gardener for Broxtowe Borough Council.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56123 June 2012

Britain: Bottle factory worker loses his senses
A plastic bottle factory worker was left with a 90 per cent reduction in his ability to taste and smell after suffering two injuries minutes apart. The Unite member was initially injured when his hand was dragged into a bottle labelling machine at Artenius PET Packaging UK Ltd in Wrexham as he tried to fix it.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56123 June 2012

Britain: Injury stopped printer working
A print factory worker is still unable to return to work almost two years after injuring his elbow in a fall. The unidentified 35-year-old printer has since lost his job with Impression UK, which has agreed to pay the Unite member an out of court settlement of £190,500.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56016 June 2012

Britain: Electrical engineer suffers vibration injury
An electrical engineer suffered permanent damage to his hands caused by the vibrating tools he used at work. Graeme Kelly, 56, from Jarrow, developed carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) after working with vibrating tools for 34 years at Gateshead-based De La Rue Currency.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56016 June 2012

Britain: Airport fall ended in hospital
A civil servant member needed hospital treatment after falling at Gatwick Airport. The 54-year-old PCS member from Croydon still suffers from exacerbated arthritis in her knee and limps as a result of tripping over loose wiring in April 2011.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 56016 June 2012

USA: Employers don’t pay injury costs
‘Cost-shifting’ by US employers and insurers is landing the bill for work-related injuries and ill-health on the public purse and the community at large. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concludes this cost shifting leads to artificially low workers' compensation premiums for employers and provides little incentive for companies to promote workplace safety.
Paul J Leigh and James C Marcin. Workers' compensation benefits and shifting costs for occupational injury and illness, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 54, issue 4, pages 445–450, April 2012. Harvard Business ReviewMedical XpressRisks 5599 June 2012

Britain: CWU opposes government violence plans
CWU is opposing proposals by the government to make cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). The postal workers’ union is concerned that victims of dog attacks who previously relied on CICS as a last resort will now receive no compensation to help deal with serious injuries.
CWU news release, submission and Bite Back campaignRisks 5599 June 2012

Britain: Electric shock trauma cost worker his job
An electrician who fell onto a live electrical board and suffered serious burns to his hand four years ago has been unable to return to his work as a result of nightmares. The Unite member, whose name has not been released, was asked to assess an electrical fault at a local primary school by his employer AD Antrobus when the board was still live so parts could be ordered without disrupting the school's electricity supply.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5599 June 2012

Britain: Pressure hose split worker’s eye ball
A council worker suffered permanent damage to his eye when he was struck by a defective pressure hose. UNISON member Jason Symmonds, 41, needed surgery after the industrial hose hit him in his right eye, splitting his eye ball and causing him to suffer a detached iris.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5599 June 2012

Britain: Warning on ‘hidden killer’ in schools
UNISON is calling for urgent action to protect education staff from the dangers posed by asbestos in schools. The union was speaking out after a school caretaker and member of UNISON died from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
UNISON news releaseRisks 55726 May 2012

Britain: Injury costs prison officer his job
A prison officer had to give up his job after he broke his ankle breaking up a fight. Iain McCallum, 61, needed surgery to repair his right ankle following the incident at HM Prison Camp Hill in Newport, Isle of Wight. The senior prison officer was breaking up a fight between two offenders when he slipped on water which had accumulated on the floor from a nearby shower room.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55619 May 2012

Britain: Rail firm did not see sense on poor lighting
A rail union safety rep who had complained to management about poor lighting in the yard subsequently hurt his wrist and knee when he tripped on discarded rails at night. The ASLEF member, whose name has not been released, had warned managers that the poor lighting at the depot was an accident waiting to happen.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55619 May 2012

Britain: Union protection on the job and on your bike
A Norfolk County Council worker was forced to take medical retirement after she suffered nasty fractures to both her wrists when she fell from her bike. The 57-year-old UNISON member from Norwich, whose name has not been released, was left needing surgery in both wrists after she came off her bike as she cycled over electrical cables laid across the road on a country lane.
UNISON news releaseRisks 55619 May 2012

Britain: Robot operator suffers brain injury
A system of inspection that would have spotted the need for a simple repair could have prevented an incident which left a welder with a brain injury. GMB member Peter Hibbert has memory problems and is unable to lift heavy objects after suffering the injury at Linde Material Handling in Basingstoke.
GMB news releaseThompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55512 May 2012

Britain: Polish cleaner suffers costly slip
A GMB member who suffered a knee injury after a fall at work has received £12,000 in compensation. Arkadiusz Chmiel who lives in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, but who is originally from Poland, twisted his knee after slipping on flooring whilst working for Timbet Door Solutions in the town.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55512 May 2012

Britain: BT engineer speaks up on hearing risks 
A British Telecom engineer from Sheffield who suffers from a high pitch buzzing in his ears after years of working with faulty equipment is warning others of the risks. Stephen Starosta has now received £7,500 from BT to cover the cost of equipment to help deal with his tinnitus, which can be caused by exposure to excessive noise.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseRisks 5545 May 2012

Britain: Parent firm liable for work-related disease
An asbestosis sufferer from London has won an historic case at the Court of Appeal against former global asbestos giant Cape plc. Law firm Leigh Day & Co says the ‘landmark’ judgment sets a new legal precedent for holding parent companies accountable for work-related health problems in employees of their subsidiaries.
Leigh Day & Co news releaseUxbridge GazetteRisks 55328 April 2012

Britain: Scaffolder forced out of his job by injuries
An experienced scaffolder with ThyssenKrupp Palmers Limited suffered a leg injury so severe when he was trapped by a pallet of scaffolding poles he was forced to leave the industry. But in response to a Unite-backed compensation claim, the firm not only settled Craig Cording’s claim out of court for a “significant” sum but also paid for his physiotherapy, rehabilitation and training as a welder. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55328 April 2012

South Africa: Anglo American blamed for dust disease
A South African miner who believes he contracted tuberculosis as a result of digging gold on behalf of Anglo American this week used the mining giant’s annual meeting to demand compensation. Daniel Seabata Thakamakau, 66, represents more than 1,200 former miners, many with silicosis and tuberculosis, who are suing Anglo American in a mass tort action.
Leigh Day & Co news releaseACTSA news release • Unite news item [pdf] • The GuardianRisks 55221 April 2012

Britain: Government plans a ‘big mistake’ on work diseases
A campaigner who won a Supreme Court battle last month on industrial disease compensation has warned government legal aid plans could leave others without access to justice. Ruth Durham, who was involved in a landmark asbestos cancer compensation case, says a law being pushed through by the government would force those who contract illnesses at work to pay legal costs out of their damages.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors news releaseAsbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UKRisks 55221 April 2012

Britain: Physio injured in wet floor fall
A physiotherapy technical instructor needed two operations after her shoulder was dislocated in a workplace fall. The 61-year-old from Nottingham, a member of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy (CSP), had to take early retirement following the incident.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55221 April 2012

Britain: Lorry driver injured by falling fridge
A lorry driver damaged his shoulder after his employer failed to act on his warnings about the dangerous way vehicles were being loaded with scrap and rubbish. Unite member Alan Snook, 61, from Frome, Somerset, was working as a shunter for Wincanton Logistics on the firm’s Comet contract when the incident happened in July 2009.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55221 April 2012

Britain: Border Force falls down on footwear
A UK Border Force worker slipped and suffered a catalogue of injuries because he hadn’t been provided with the replacement work boots he had requested. Just a week before the incident the PCS member, whose name has not been released, had written to bosses saying he needed the new boots as a matter of urgency.
Thompsons Solicitors news release • Working feet and footwear, TUC guide, 2008 [pdf] • Risks 55114 April 2012

Britain: Hospital injury shows need for proper staffing
A hospital worker needed two operations on her shoulder and had to take over a year off work after she was injured helping a 20-stone patient. The 53-year-old CPS member, whose name has not been released, has been left unable to lift heavy items with her left arm after the incident at Alcester Community Hospital in Warwickshire.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55114 April 2012

Britain: Train door slamming caused tinnitus
A train driver was left unable to carry out his job for a year after his hearing was damaged by an explosion-like bang of a faulty door. The ASLEF member, who is employed by Northern Rail Ltd and was driving a train from Manchester Oxford Road station to Liverpool Lime Street at the time of the incident, was left with tinnitus in his right ear which meant he was unable to drive trains for almost a year.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55114 April 2012

Britain: Signal box fumes caused disabling chronic fatigue
A railway worker who was exposed to chemical fumes at work went onto to develop Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is not known if the 44-year-old, from Liskeard in Cornwall, will ever recover from the debilitating condition which has already seen him lose his job as a signalman for Network Rail.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 55114 April 2012

Britain: Usdaw fights for violent crime compensation
Retail union Usdaw is fighting government cost-cutting plans which would deny thousands of workers compensation after violent attacks at work. Usdaw, whose members are in the service sector frontline for violence at work, has initiated a petition opposing the changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA).
Usdaw news releaseRisks 5507 April 2012

Britain: Bad gloves cost railway worker his thumb
A Wakefield railway worker provided with unsuitable safety gloves ended up losing part of his thumb after it became infected by contact with human waste. ASLEF member Darren Skelton, 41, ended up in hospital hooked up to an IV drip after his thumb became seriously infected.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54931 March 2012

Britain: Unite says no more slip ups
The union Unite has called on employers to deliver workplaces free from avoidable hazards after a member suffered a serious knee injury in a slip at an industrial lubricant manufacturer. Russell Scragg, 59, slipped on a step at Fuchs Lubricants in Stoke on Trent where he had worked in a skilled role as a blender for 10 years.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54931 March 2012

Britain: Dodgy surface floored firefighter
A firefighter who broke his ankle ended up having to resign from the service as a result of his injuries. The 37-year-old FBU member from Porth, Mid-Glamorgan, gave up his 10-year career as a retained firefighter after he broke his right ankle when he tripped on uneven ground in Porth Fire Station during a weekly exercise wearing breathing apparatus in 2007.
Thompsons SolicitorsRisks 54931 March 2012

Britain: Asbestos victory at the Supreme Court
A Supreme Court ruling which this week found against insurance companies that had been seeking to deny compensation to the victims of asbestos cancers has been welcomed by unions.
TUC news releaseUnite news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 54931 March 2012

Britain: Insurers turn a blind eye to work’s real harm
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called “for action to free businesses from the fear of the UK’s compensation culture and overzealous interpretations of health and safety rules that could hold back Britain’s economic recovery.” ABI, though, makes no mention of life-threatening and disabling occupational diseases, instead focusing on “‘slip and trip’ style liability claims.”
ABI news releaseRisks 54824 March 2012

Britain: Engineering firm injured apprentice
An apprentice engineer who was trained to remove safety guards from machinery suffered a severe head injury as a result. The 22-year-old from Bournemouth, who has received a ‘substantial’ settlement in a Unite-backed compensation claim, was struck on the face when a solid nylon billet he was attempting to work on at a precision engineering firm in the Bournemouth area flew off the machine.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54824 March 2012

Britain: Lords vote down ‘cruel’ legal aid move
Dying victims of occupational cancers should not be penalised as a consequence as a government’s drive to trim £350m of the legal aid bill by 2015, peers have said. An amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill blocking government plans to force asbestos victims to use some of their damages to pay legal bills succeeded this week in the House of Lords.
House of Lords debate, 14 March 2012, Hansard • BBC News OnlineYorkshire Evening PostRisks 54717 March 2012

Britain: Work victims attack ‘abhorrent’ legal fees plan People with deadly work-related diseases are demanding justice secretary Ken Clarke ditches his “abhorrent” reforms that would force them to pay two new fees. Shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said: “This is all part of a campaign to protect insurance companies and badly behaving industrial giants at the expense of people who worked hard all their lives and did nothing wrong.”
Daily Mirror
Risks 5453 March 2012

Britain: Firefighter injured by faulty fire station doors
A retained firefighter needed surgery on his ankle after he was injured trying to close antiquated heavy doors at his fire station. The FBU member was attempting to close the huge 12ft high by 16ft wide front doors to the station when he suffered the injury in 2008.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5453 March 2012 

Britain: Union card pays off as bakery worker uses his loaf
A bakery worker who was approached directly by an insurance company after suffering disabling injuries at work could have lost almost £150,000 had he not turned to his union for advice. The 53-year-old from Birmingham, whose name has not been released, was initially offered just £69,000 for his injuries by his employer’s insurer, but received a £211,000 settlement – more than three times the original offer – after calling in the union.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54318 February 2012

Britain: Self-employed are not alone in a union
A self-employed worker who fell from a faulty scaffolding platform, breaking his hip and leg, has received compensation after help from his trade union. GMB member Michael Ramsey, 66, wasn’t trained to work at height.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54318 February 2012

Britain: Knee injury worsened by botched surgery
A Unite member who damaged his knee at work was then left even more seriously injured when private surgery funded by his employers went wrong. The 58-year-old maintenance fitter from Cheshire, whose name has not been released but who as received as substantial payout, has been left with a limp and unable to undertake heavy work after the injury suffered at Albion Inorganic Chemicals Ltd in Sandbach and the subsequent operation.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54318 February 2012

Britain: Compensation ‘under threat’ from government
Workers are facing an ‘onslaught’ by the government on their ability to claim compensation, the TUC has warned. The union body says compensation is facing a triple whammy, with for workplace injury and ill-health victims, victims of criminal violence and those unfairly dismissed all set to lose out.
Compensation under threat • Defend health and safety Day of Action, 28 April 2012, Bulletin Number 3, TUC, February 2012. TUC Workers’ Memorial Day webpagesRisks 54318 February 2012

Britain: Faulty system left car worker in a jam
A toolsetter for a car parts manufacturer suffered a painful back injury after a machine with a known problem jammed. The 57-year-old Unite member from Walsall suffered a slipped disc as he was fitting a four foot long beam to reinforce a car bumper for Wagon Industries in May 2008.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5414 February 2012

Britain: Knee injury stops train driver
A train driver was off work for nine months after being injured in a fall on an icy platform. The 30-year-old ASLEF member from Oxfordshire, who fell on snow and ice on the platform at Frome station in January 2009, has received a “significant” out of court payout.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5414 February 2012

Britain: Justice under threat from all sides
Workers are facing a government “onslaught” on their ability to get justice after being abused at work, the TUC has warned. TUC’s head of safety Hugh Robertson notes an attack on access to employment tribunals forms part of an injustice triple whammy, with personal injury and criminal injury compensation also in the government’s sights. Stronger Unions blogRisks 5414 February 2012

Britain: Union nips in to get finger payout
A Unite member who suffered permanent damage to his fingers at work and waited almost three years before he claimed compensation has received a payout of more than £8,000. The 65-year-old from Isleworth in Middlesex, whose name has not been released, suffered from tendon damage to his little and ring fingers after using an unsafe drill whilst working for Field Systems Design.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54028 January 2011

Britain: Honda ignored grate warning
Car manufacturer Honda ignored a worker’s warning about a hazardous grate, which subsequently caused the concerned employee to suffer serious knee injuries that “destroyed” his life. Unite member Patrick Scanlon, 47, had warned his bosses at the Honda factory in Swindon that a raised grate on the factory floor was an accident waiting to happen but nothing was done to fix it.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 54028 January 2011

Britain: Vibration caused ongoing health problems
A plater who suffered permanent damage to his hands after he was exposed to vibrating tools at work has received a second dose of compensation. The 54-year-old GMB member from Doncaster developed the painful wrist condition carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after working with vibrating machinery for 25 years.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 539 21 January 2012

Britain: Union protection extends outside of work
A UNISON member who was involved in a car smash and left needing spinal surgery has received compensation with the help of union lawyers. The grandmother-of-four from County Durham, whose name has not been released, suffered a slipped disc after her car was hit from behind by a 4x4 as she was waiting at a roundabout.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 53921 January 2012

Britain: Newsagent caused cleaner’s painful trip
A street cleaner has been awarded compensation by the courts after a newsagent failed to dispose of his waste responsibly. The GMB member from Bedfordshire was cleaning outside shop fronts in Luton in January 2004 when her feet became entangled on plastic newspaper strapping which had been dumped in a public rubbish bin.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 53814 January 2012

Britain: Nuke firm ignored safety warnings
Managers at a major nuclear firm had dismissed safety concerns raised by workers moments before the dangerous job led to a worker suffering a serious injury. The GMB member from Cumbria broke her right ankle after she was ordered to move heavy archive boxes down a flight of three narrow steps at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Seascale in February 2010.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 53814 January 2012

Britain: Injured workers need safety insured
A welder whose hands have been left permanently damaged by his work has lost half of his compensation because the firms responsible have folded and their insurers could not be traced. Unite says its member’s plight highlights why an Employer’s Liability Insurance Bureau (ELIB) is necessary.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5377 January 2012

Britain: Redundancy threat follows injury claim
A worker who suffered permanent damage to his hand at work was threatened with redundancy when he pursued a claim for compensation. A few months after initiating a compensation claim, GMB member Craig Dunwell was forced to sign a letter abandoning his compensation claim when his employer threatened to make him redundant. Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 537 7 January 2012

Britain: Print fumes caused occupational asthma
A printer who developed asthma when he was exposed to dangerous fumes at work has received compensation.  Unite member Jason MaCann, 35, was diagnosed with the condition after he was exposed to isocyanates used in laminating machines at FFP Packaging in Northampton.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 5377 January 2012

Britain: Civil servant gets payout after office fall
A civil servant has received £8,000 in compensation after needing surgery following a fall in the workplace. PCS union member Marilyn McKenzie, 58, needed an operation on her left knee after she tripped over the lid of a socket hatch embedded into the floor at her offices at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Sheffield.
Thompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 537  • 7 January 2012

Earlier news stories

 


Features

Robbed!
Compensation culture? I don’t think so. The government may want you to believe we are a nation of greedy money grabbing chancers, says Hazards editor Rory O’Neill, but claims figures tell a different story. Even those dying of occupational diseases have precious little chance of securing a payout.
Hazards 122, April-June 2013

Who pays? 
The British Chambers of Commerce is targeting health and safety laws because it says they cost business billions.  Only it’s not true. And Hazards reveals the real cost of business neglecting safety is borne almost entirely by workers and the public purse, with companies evading the blame and the bill. 
Hazards 106, April-June 2009

A little compensation
Workers lose billions each year as a result of occupational injuries and diseases. Some will never see work again. Hazards outlines what’s available from a system that provides consolation for some, frustration for most and proper compensation to no-one suffering as a result of their job.
Hazards 90, April-June 2005

Hazards dossier: What price on your life?
Hazards' dossier of recent compensation UK settlements for work-related injuries and ill-health.
What price on your life?

What's your body worth?
Hazards looks at the value UK courts put on a body damaged by work hazards.
Hazards 73, January-March 2001

 

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COMPENSATION

Globally health and safety laws because are being targetedbecause business says it they cost it billions.  The real cost of business neglecting safety is borne almost entirely by workers and the public purse, with companies evading the blame and the bill. 

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