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Accidents in the workplace inevitably happen and rules are in place to ensure that, where an employer is at fault, workers are compensated for any injuries they suffer. In one case, a school canteen assistant who severely cut her wrist whilst drying up has won a substantial damages award.
The woman was drying a mug when its handle fell off, exposing a sharp edge which sliced into her left wrist. A tendon was nearly severed and had to be surgically repaired. She was in a cast for a month, in a splint for several weeks and was off work for nearly a year. Although she eventually made a good recovery, she was left with a perception that the wrist was weaker than before and decided to pursue a personal injury claim.
In finding her employer liable for the accident, the High Court noted that she had not been trained to use gloves when washing up. Also, the mug had been brought into the canteen by a member of the school's staff and had not been inspected for chips and cracks. The woman was awarded £25,000 in damages. Her husband also received £1,914 to compensate him for the time he spent assisting her with dressing and housework before her injury healed.