Ministry of Justice Worker Wins Compensation For Shoulder Injury

Iron Gate
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Case by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott

An AWH client has been awarded compensation after he was diagnosed with an acceleration of an injury. Due to having to lift a heavy iron gate at the Central Criminal Court in London when the electronic mechanism broke.

What was the case?

Our client was required to open and close the gate, which is located at the entrance to the underground car park of the Central Criminal Court in London for vehicular access to the car park by witness and members of staff, and for delivery purposes including bringing evidence to court hearings, kitchen deliveries and postal deliveries

The gate is solid metal, approximately 11 feet tall and weighs more than a ton. It runs on tracks which could be hampered by dirt and debris when being opened and closed, increasing the amount of force needed to be applied to manually open it. He estimated on his average working day between 06.30 and 13.30 he opened and closed the gate 10 – 15 times per day, but this could be up to 25 times a day. Despite his repeated reports to his supervisors about the broken system and requests to have the gate fixed, it took the Ministry of Justice nearly 18 months before it was repaired, and this was only done after he had to take time off work to have an operation on his shoulder.

Employer’s Duty of Care

This case shows a clear lapse of care from employers. In any workplace, there is a legal requirement for employees to be reasonable cared for. Whether you’re employing just one person or a large team, you have a legal requirement to provide protection to all of your workers. If you’re a staff member, this should mean that you feel happy and safe at work. The duty of care is wide-ranging and can include a number of different things. Generally, it is a company’s legal and ethical duty to prevent physical and psychological harm to staff. This could be anything from an injury that has been caused by a machine, to stress from working excessive hours. In this case, it was failure to correctly repair machinery, that had a negative impact on the health of an employee.

If you are concerned about your wellbeing at work or are unhappy with a situation that you have found yourself in at work, then you should be able to talk to your line manager or a specialised elected health and safety representative. If they can’t help, then you should be able to ask the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for advice about your employment rights and responsibilities. The guidance is free, confidential and impartial, so you needn’t worry about it causing problems with your employer.

Read more about workplace negligence on our industrial disease claims page.

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If you have suffered from something similar in your workplace, then our specialist solicitors can help you to make a claim for compensation. We deal with cases like this on a regular basis, ensuring that those who have suffered from negligence get what they rightly deserve. Our client was very pleased with the outcome and said: ‘On behalf of my family and I, would just like to say that the service received from start to finish has been absolutely fantastic. Nimish and Haleema kept in touch and informed me of every stage as things progress, customer service was great. May you and the company continue delivering the great service I’ve experienced. Keep up the good work.

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