Archive for the ‘Injury at Work Ireland’ Category

Chef Injured in Work Team Building Activity Resolves Claim Out of Court

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by News
 

A hotel chef, injured in a work team building activity, has resolved his compensation claim for a broken wrist out of court.

Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin – an executive chef at the four star Carton House Spa and Golf Hotel in Maynooth, County Kildare – attended a team-building day in October 2006 organised by his employer at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge.

During the day, Cathal and other managers from the hotel were asked to participate in various activities; including a relay race in which the managers were divided into two teams and then asked to hop forwards and then run backwards to pass the baton to the next team member.

During the relay race, Cathal slipped and he broke his wrist when he fell. After speaking with a solicitor, Cathal made a compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity against his employer, the Riverbank Arts Centre and the company that had organised the team building day – JikiJela Ltd of Tubbercurry, County Sligo.

Cathal alleged in his compensation claim for being injured in a work team building activity that the three defendants had been negligent by failing to ensure that the activities were safe or that there was any risk on an injury occurring. The three allegedly negligent parties denied their liability for Cathal´s slip and fall injury and an Authorisation was issued by the Injuries Board for Cathal´s claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.

However, when re-convening after the lunch break on the first day of the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that Cathal had resolved his claim for being injured in a work team building activity and that the case could now be struck out.

Fall from Ladder Injury Compensation Awarded to Former Argos Employee

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by News
 

A former employee of Argos in Waterford has been awarded fall from ladder injury compensation amounting to €25,000 after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Forty-two year old Nicola Starmer was working as a front-of-house sales assistant at the Great George´s Street branch of Argos in February 2007, when she went into the store´s stockroom to fetch goods that had been purchased by a customer.

As the purchase she needed to retrieve from the stockroom was located on a high shelf, Nicola – from Ballynakill Downs in Waterford – used a ladder in order to reach it. However, as Nicola was descending the ladder, she fell backwards and put out her hand to break her fall.

At the time Nicola was unaware that she had sustained an injury in the accident; but, as the day progressed, she started to feel pain in her right wrist. She visited the Accident department of the local hospital, where an x-ray which revealed she had dislocated her wrist.

Doctors inserted pins into Nicola´s wrist to stabilise the injury, and she was discharged from hospital in plaster cast to protect her wrist while it healed. Unfortunately she was unable to return to her temporary job at Argos because of her injury.

Nicola explained the circumstances of her injury to a solicitor and made a claim for fall from ladder injury compensation against Argos. Argos contested its liability for her injuries and the Injuries Board issued an Authorisation for the claim to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Argos disputed Nicola´s claim for fall from ladder injury compensation on the grounds that Nicola had been trained in ladder safety and that the company should not be held responsible for her injuries.

However, Nicola´s solicitor told Mr Justice Raymond Groake that the ladder safety training was comprised of a DVD presentation rather than a practical demonstration and, furthermore, that Nicola had never been given any training with regard to working in the stockroom as she had been employed as a front-of-house sales assistant.

Judge Groarke also heard that Nicola had only attempted to fetch the goods that had been purchased by the customer because the store was short-staffed and there was nobody else available. He found in Nicola´s favour and awarded her €25,000 in fall from ladder injury compensation.

Steep Rise in Compensation Claims for Burns and Scalds at Work

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by News
 

The Injuries Board has released figures which show a steep rise in compensation claims for burns and scalds at work between 2011 and 2012.

Stephen Watkins – the Director of Corporate Services at the Injuries Board – has published a press release on the Injuries Board website in which he describes the increase in compensation claims for burns and scalds at work as “worrying”.

He points to figures from 2011 and 2012 in which the number of accepted Injuries Board assessments in relation to burns and scalds in the workplace rose from twenty-eight to forty-two, with a total assessment value of €1.33 million and an average compensation award of €19,066.

Mr Watkins describes the various ways in which workers can sustain burns and scalds at work, and listed the most frequent reasons for applications being submitted to the Injuries Board:

  • Boiling water overflowing
  • Splashes from hot liquids and sauces
  • Chemical and acid burns
  • Items of clothing catching fire
  • Scalds from faulty electrical equipment

The highest individual award over the two-year period was €106,949 – relating to burns sustained in an acid spill – but Mr Watkins commented that the highest number of compensation claims for burns and scalds at work were made by plaintiffs working in the catering trade and in cleaning.

It was also highlighted that something as simple as making a hot drink could result in an injury at work, and Mr Watkins urged both employers and employees to be aware of safety precautions when in the presence of any substance or equipment that could result in a painful burn injury.

In 2012, the Health and Safety Authority´s “Summary of Workplace Injuries” showed that female employees are three times more likely than their male counterparts to sustain burns and scalds in the workplace, due to the higher percentage of females employed in catering and cleaning.

It should also not be overlooked that, in 2012, the percentage of accepted Injuries Board assessments fell from 37.2 percent to 32.7 percent – indicating that there may have been a further 100 compensation claims for burns and scalds at work which were resolved outside of the Injuries Board process.

HSA Chief Comments on Injury Claims for Slips and Falls at Work

Posted on: November 14th, 2013 by News
 

The Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – Martin O´Halloran – has commented on figures released by the Injuries Board relating to injury claims for slip and falls at work.

To coincide with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work earlier this month, the Injuries Board released figures which showed that a third of all workplace-related assessments in 2012 were attributable to injury claims for slips and falls at work.

The total value of the accepted assessments for workplace injuries amounted to €22 million and Mr O´Halloran said that employers should use the European Week for Safety and Health at Work to reflect on the safety systems they have in place and not leave anything to chance.

Although acknowledging that employees often take less care at work because they are aware that employers have responsibility for their health and safety, Mr O´Halloran revealed that a quarter of workplaces inspected by the HSA in 2012 had not carried out a risk assessment to identify where slips and falls at work might occur.

Commenting on the cost to industry of injury claims for slips and falls at work, Mr O´Halloran said “Effective management of workplace safety and health not only protects workers from injury and ill-health, but also has the potential to save businesses thousands of Euros. Proper management of workplace safety and health contributes to long-term commercial success and profitability”.

Further statistics were reported on by the Injuries Board in their press release, and these included:

· The average accepted assessment of injury compensation for a workplace accident was €27,286.
· Male workers are twice as likely to sustain a workplace injury as female workers (in all workplace accidents)
· The highest number of injury claims for slips and falls at work were made by workers in the 25 to 34 age group
· One fifth of the accepted assessments of injuries caused by a slip and fall at work were for accidents which resulted in the plaintiff taking more than one month to recover from their injuries.

Report Reveals 10 Percent Increase in Compensation Claims to the Injuries Board

Posted on: October 3rd, 2013 by News
 

Claims to the Injuries Board have increased by 10 percent in the first half of the year according to a report published on the government body´s website.

The analysis of claims to the Injuries Board from January to June 2013 show that the number of applications for the assessment of compensation received by the Injuries Board increased from 14,685 in the corresponding period in 2012 to 16,162 – a rise of just over 10 percent.

The number of assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 to 5,286, but this represented a significant drop in the percentage of claims to the Injuries Board which were successfully resolved (37.2 percent > 32.7 percent) and indicates that fewer claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved through the Injuries Board process.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of each assessment also increased (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively); however CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – Patricia Byron – explained that this was due to a small number of exceptional claims to the Injuries Board – one of which resulted in the highest ever accepted Injuries Board assessment of €976,000.

Once again, claims for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of claims to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while there was an ongoing reduction in claims for injuries at work (8.1 percent). The remainder of the requests for an assessment of injury compensation were made in respect of public liability claims – injuries sustained in places of public access and product liability claims.

Discussing the increased volume of claims to the Injuries Board and the higher level of injury compensation settlements, Ms Byron warned insurance companies not to use the Injuries Board statistics as an excuse to raise insurance premiums. She said “Given a reduction of 30 percent in the Boards processing fee to respondents [down from €850.00 to €600.00], we see no basis for insurance premium hikes at this time”.

Potential plaintiffs should that while it may still be quicker to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation through direct contact with the negligent party´s insurers, making a claim to the Injuries Board is still necessary (except in claims for medical negligence and professional negligence) in case your claim cannot be resolved by negotiation and requires court action.

Compensation for Back Injuries at Work Awarded in Court after Fall from Chair

Posted on: September 11th, 2013 by News
 

A woman, who fell from a faulty chair in her office, has been awarded more than Au$1million compensation for back injuries at work by a court in Australia.

Terry Anne Downie (51) from Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory was working as a team leader for the Community Information and Referral Service in Canberra when she purchased furniture on behalf of her employer – including a chair for her own use at work – from the ex-government furniture outlet store – Fyshwick.

Four months later, Terry Anne was sitting on the chair while talking on the telephone, when two spokes on the plastic moulding at the base of the chair snapped, causing her to fall to the floor. A co-worker who saw the accident said that she heard a loud crack and then saw Terry Anne lying on the floor, struggling to get up.

An ambulance was summoned and Terry Anne was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that the accident had caused a disc to swell and Terry Anne´s pain was caused by the disc being in contact with a nerve root in her spine. Doctors were unable to repair the damage and Terry Anne now suffers from a permanent tingling sensation under the skin of her legs, which has prevented her from maintaining a job since the accident and has been identified as the cause of a mental illness and early onset sexual dysfunction.

Terry Anne received Au$190,000 in worker´s compensation for back injuries at work in 2005 but, backed by her former employer, she also made a private claim for compensation against the company that imported the faulty chair from China in kit form – Jantom – claiming that the product was faulty when it was delivered to the company that she had purchased it from – Fyshwick.

Jantom and their insurers denied their liability for Terry Anne´s back injuries at work but, at the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court, Judge Master David Harper ruled in favour of the plaintiff after hearing expert testimony that the plastic moulding on the base of the chair had “failed catastrophically” and resulted in two of the five supporting spokes breaking.

The judge awarded Terry Anne Au$933,030 compensation for back injuries at work to reflect the pain and suffering she has experienced since her accident and a further Au$112,000 to cover past, present and future medical expenses. After announcing the compensation settlement, Master David Harper said “Terry Anne has many years ahead of pain and depression. Her life is very different to the life she could have expected if it had not been for her injury. Her enjoyment of life, and the kind of life she is able to lead, have been altered immeasurably.”

Hospital Infections Likely due to Poor Hygiene Claims HIQA

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by News
 

A series of reports produced by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) have revealed that there is a high risk of hospital infections in Ireland due to poor hygiene in hospitals.

Five hospitals were inspected during the summer by HIQA – an independent authority which checks on the quality and safety of the Irish Health Service – and their reports show, among other issues, a general lack of hand hygiene which is likely to result in patients, visitors and staff contracting hospital infections.

The worst of the five hospitals was Waterford Regional Hospital; where inspectors observed medical and nursing staff using only five in twenty-three hand hygiene opportunities during their unannounced inspection and found that soap dispensers provided for staff in the Accident & Emergency Department were either empty or blocked by soap residue.

Mould was also found to be developing in toilets and shower units used by patients and – on one occasion – a patient suspected of having a transmittable infection was treated in a general bay of the Accident & Emergency Department – despite isolation units being available.

Hand hygiene issues which were likely to result in hospital infections were also identified during unannounced inspections at St Michael´s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, Portiuncila Hospital in Galway, Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan – where the walls of the patients´ toilets were described as “heavily stained”.

Rob Landers – Clinical Director at Waterford Regional Hospital – said that the hospital was “extremely disappointed” with the findings published in the report, but reassured patients that it was safe to attend the hospital.

He said that the Accident and Emergency Department had been extremely busy on the day of the inspection and – although he admitted that this was no excuse for potentially transmitting hospital infections – announced that compulsory hand hygiene training would be introduced for all workers at the hospital in the future.

Waterford Regional Hospital has been given six weeks from the date of the report by HIQA to develop a quality improvement plan and post it on the hospital website.

Compensation for a Burn Injury at Work Awarded at the Circuit Civil Court

Posted on: July 24th, 2013 by News
 

A refuse worker, who suffered an injury when a hydraulic cable on a garbage truck burst and sprayed its contents into his eyes, is to receive €15,565 compensation for a burn injury at work after his claim was heard in the Circuit Civil Court.

Kamil Kozlowski (30) from Part West Point in Dublin was emptying bins in Sandyford Road in July 2011 when a hydraulic cable on the back of the garbage truck burst, spraying hot oil into his eyes. An ambulance was quickly on the scene, and Kamil received first aid before being taken to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital – where his eyes were rinsed and a course of eye drops was prescribed.

However, Kamil – who believed at the time of the accident that he may be permanently blinded – continued to suffer pain in his left eye and experience problems with his vision and, after seeking legal advice, made a claim for a burn injury at work against his employers – Panda Waste Services Ltd of Navan, County Meath.

Panda Waste Services admitted their liability for Kamil´s eye injury, but the two sides could not reach an agreement over how much compensation for a burn injury at work Kamil was entitled to receive. Eventually the case was taken to the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin where it was heard by Judge Alison Lindsay.

The judge, after hearing the circumstances of Kamil´s accident and the injury he sustained, awarded him €15,565 in compensation for a burn injury at work.

Baggage Handler Electric Shock Accident Claim Resolved Out of Court

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by News
 

An employee in the baggage handling section at Dublin Airport, who suffered two electric shocks when attempting to attach a power cable to a Boeing 737, has resolved his baggage handler electric shock accident claim out of court.

Patrick Kemmy (39) from Blanchardstown in Dublin made the electric shock at work compensation claim after suffering an injury while trying to connect the electric cable to the plane at Dublin Airport in April 2009. At first Mr Kemmy believed it was some aspect of the task that he had done incorrectly which led to the first electric shock, but on a second attempt he sustained an even larger shock.

The accident left Patrick suffering from a tingling down his right arm – which he still experiences from time to time  almost four years after the event – chest pains, headaches, a shortness of breath and neck pains. Due to the injuries suffered in the baggage handling accident, Patrick has missed work on nine or ten occasions.

Patrick alleged, in his compensation case, that his employers Servisair and the Dublin Airport Authority had permitted him to use a power cable which was not properly insulated against the ingress of water which, as it was raining on the day in question, led to the electrical accident.

Despite the Dublin Airport Authority and Servisair denying their liability for Patrick´s injuries at first shortly before the case was to be heard at the High Court, officials were advised that the claim had been resolved out of court.

How much Patrick received in his baggage handler electric shock accident claim was not revealed.

Man Awarded Scaffolding Fall Compensation

Posted on: June 30th, 2012 by News
 

A man who fell three metres from a scaffolding tower while helping his brother make repairs to the roof of his house has been awarded 750,000 Euros in scaffolding fall compensation for fall from scaffolding after the settlement of his claim was approved in the High Court.

Patrick Rayner from Mitchelstown was helping to replace slates on his brother’s roof in Killmallock, County Limerick when the accident happened during heavy rain in December 2008. As he lent over the top of the scaffolding tower erected to allow access to the roof, Patrick fell three metres to the ground, sustaining a fractured skull injury.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that due to his injuries Patrick has lost his hearing, has a deficit of his taste and smell senses and still suffers from frequent headaches. The judge was also told that through his wife, Julia, Patrick made a claim for scaffolding fall compensation; alleging that the scaffolding tower had not been secured to a permanent structure and that his brother had failed to make adequate provision for Patrick´s health and safety.

As liability for Patrick´s injuries was accepted, and a settlement of 750,000 Euros had been agreed, the case was before Ms Justice Mary Irvine for approval of damages only. After hearing the full details of how the accident occurred, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement for scaffolding fall compensation, stating that this was a case of the deeds of a Good Samaritan concluding in tragedy.

Expert Articles

Latest Awards

Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim against Irish Rail
A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin has settled her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail after a hearing at the High Court. Ciara Morgan (32) from [...]
Read More Here »
Compensation for High Speed Crash Injuries Approved in Court
A €10 million settlement of compensation for high speed crash injuries for a female passenger has been approved by the High Court after a hearing in Dublin. Lydia Branley from Kinlough in Country Le [...]
Read More Here »
Chef Injured in Work Team Building Activity Resolves Claim Out of Court
A hotel chef, injured in a work team building activity, has resolved his compensation claim for a broken wrist out of court. Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin – an executive chef at the [...]
Read More Here »
Injuries Board Ireland

Fill in your details below
and a legal expert
will call you back

Latest News

Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim against Irish Rail
A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin has settled her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail after a hearing at the High Court. Ciara Morgan (32) from [...]
Read More Here »
Compensation for High Speed Crash Injuries Approved in Court
A €10 million settlement of compensation for high speed crash injuries for a female passenger has been approved by the High Court after a hearing in Dublin. Lydia Branley from Kinlough in Country Le [...]
Read More Here »
Chef Injured in Work Team Building Activity Resolves Claim Out of Court
A hotel chef, injured in a work team building activity, has resolved his compensation claim for a broken wrist out of court. Cathal Kavanagh (54) from Ongar in Dublin – an executive chef at the [...]
Read More Here »