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Accidents at work are a common source of injury and it is essential that employers carry out proper risk assessments of the tasks their employees are asked to perform and take appropriate measures to mitigate the risks to their staff. The same principles apply to other people who visit their premises.
In a recent case, the employer's lack of attention to the risks inherent in a task became clearly evident. Ironically, the employer involved is an NHS trust.
The claim for compensation was brought after a maintenance worker at Bradford Royal Infirmary hurt his back whilst accessing a plant room. The plant room was only accessible by using a set of ladders and then climbing through a small opening. To carry out his work, he sometimes had to carry heavy tools throughout this process.
The dangers inherent in the access had been brought to the attention of the management of the hospital, but were not dealt with until after the claim was brought.
The worker had suffered an injury when carrying a heavy pipe wrench to the plant room and brought a claim against his employer. He was awarded £6,000 in compensation.