Head injury after worker hits pothole in poorly lit yard

On 26 November 2016, our client, Mr Leslie Gow was involved in a workplace accident during the course of his employment as a metal caster.

Our client's role required him to cast aluminium into large blocks so the material could be sent out of the plant for delivery.

The accident happened after our client had finished working in the casting plant, while he was tidying up in the yard. The cleaning process involved him operating a road sweeper, a one-seat vehicle with two wheels at the front and one at the back. After cleaning, he drove to an outbuilding to empty the road sweeper and then proceeded to carry out a cleaning check around the yard. The yard was not a well-lit area, and our client was unable to see a pothole on the ground. When the back wheel of the sweeper fell into the pothole, Mr Gow was launched from his seat, even though he was wearing a seatbelt, and hit his head on the air conditioning unit on the roof of the cab.

The consequences

His head was immediately sore, and blood was running down either side of his face. He informed his team leader, a qualified first-aider, who provided him with treatment. After his wound was cleaned, our client was still in significant pain and was very dizzy, but as his team leader did not seem to think a hospital visit was necessary, he chose not to seek further treatment.

The laceration to Mr Gow's head took approximately ten days to heal, leaving him with two small scars. Luckily his injury did not affect his ability to complete household tasks, nor did he need to take any time off work, but because he had suffered a workplace injury through no fault of his own, he decided to pursue a compensation claim with Thompsons.

The settlement

The reason for our client's accident was because the yard was not in a proper state of repair. Although the pothole has been filled since the accident, it was unfortunately too late to ensure the safety of all employees at the plant.

Mr Gow made a claim with the help of his union, Unite. When Thompsons' work accident solicitors intimated a claim to his employers, they admitted liability.

To provide us with stronger evidence of our client's injuries, we arranged for the metal worker to be examined by a consultant in emergency medicine. The medical report confirmed that he'd sustained a blunt head injury and a laceration to his head, allowing for a three-month period of recovery.

We sent this medical report to the defender, and they responded with an offer of £2,000. After we discussed this offer with our client, he decided it was fair and agreed to accept on 29 August 2017.

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