Offshore Oil Worker Secures £70k Following Finger Amputation Accident

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Our client, an offshore oil worker on the Piper Bravo platform, was referred to Thompsons solicitors in Scotland through his union, Unite, following a serious accident at work. Thompsons solicitors were pleased to assist the man in his amputation injury compensation claim.

The background

As an employee of Archer (UK) Ltd. our client was working on the Piper Bravo platform. In April 2019 he had been tasked with carrying out maintenance work to the rig floor. On the day of the accident , two other employees, a mechanic and a drill worker, asked our client and a colleague for assistance in re-spooling a piece of drilling equipment. Once this was done, the employees needed to replace the machinery cover, known as a drawworks cover.

Our client and his colleague each took a handle of the drawworks cover in order to lift it into place. As per his training, our client used an underhand grip to hold the handle, however his colleague took an overhand grip. As they moved the cover, it jammed and in trying to free it his colleague let go of his handle. The full weight of the cover (around 51 to 52kg) was then transferred to our client's handle and he was unable to hold on. The cover dropped, trapping our client's hand against an upright pillar.

The colleague immediately admitted the accident was his fault, and several other witnesses saw what happened to cause the accident.

The consequences

Following the offshore work accident, our client was medically evacuated from the platform to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he underwent amputation surgery on his right index finger.

As part of his recovery, our client received physiotherapy treatment. He was unable to work from the date of the accident until August 2019.

Although our client is confident that the injury won't mean he has to change his career, he has since suffered trust issues when working with other employees.

The settlement

Thompsons serious injury solicitors intimated the work accident claim in terms of our client's employers having vicarious liability for the mistakes of the colleague under Regulation 3 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

Liability was admitted and following extensive negotiations the defender tendered a compensation settlement offer in the sum of £70,000.

While the offer was a favourable award for solatium (pain and suffering) we advised our client that he could make a counter-offer in the sum of £100,000 to reflect the effect his amputation injury would have on his prospects in the labour market, but that this action would not be without risk.

After discussing the situation with us, our client was happy to accept the initial defender offer.

The settlement was agreed on 20 April 2021.

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