A 53-year-old engineer has been awarded work accident compensation of £17,500 after falling from a ladder and injuring his ankle.
The man was working for a company as a maintenance engineer. He was asked to clear foliage that was growing on the outside wall of the company’s factory. The company did not give him any instructions on how he should do this, neither was he given any help or equipment.
He fell and injured his ankle
The man climbed a ladder and began to remove the foliage from near the top of the building. He lost his balance when the foliage gave way and he landed on the property next door. A piece of drainpipe that was attached to the foliage landed on him.
He had to spend three days in hospital with a bi-malleoclar fracture of his left ankle. When he was let out he was on crutches and had to wear a cast for 10 weeks. He still suffered pins and needles in his ankle at the date of the settlement. He also had pain and swelling that kept recurring.
He would never fully recover
He used to regularly go running and play football but he could not do either as often since the accident.
Some of the effects of the injury were expected to last for the rest of his life. The swelling and aching in his ankle was never expected to stop. However the pins and needles sensation that he regularly felt was expected to go by the end of September 2011. He would also need further surgery to remove metal work from his leg.
His employers disputed liability
The man brought a claim against his employer. He said that they had been in breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company did not perform any risk assessment before he started to remove the foliage and as a result they did not produce a safe procedure to carry out the task.
The company did not deny liability but they did accuse the man of contributory negligence because he failed to erect the ladder correctly. They said that 50% of the blame was with him. The man disputed this and the company dropped the claim.
The case was settled out of court
They settled the matter out of court with the company accepting full liability. The man was awarded £17,500 for:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity, £13,000
- Future medical costs, £3,500
- Miscellaneous costs, £1,000