Adverse Weather Conditions Lead to Employee Injury

arm-plaster-cast.jpegChris was working as a delivery driver assistant when he slipped on some ice and cracked his collar bone, leading him to make a successful work accident claim against his employer.

Chris was employed as a driver’s assistant for a high-end furniture retailer, where his duties involved going out on deliveries to help with lifting, carrying and other such manual tasks.

On the morning of 8 February 2007 he arrived to starting the working day as per usual. However, it had been snowing heavily the night before, meaning the weather conditions posed a risk to the drivers and their assistants. Even so, Chris’s employer took the decision that all everyone should carry out their tasks as normal.

Subsequently, Chris and his driver set about their morning deliveries. The first was to an address in the Basnetts Wood Road area in Stoke on Trent. They arrived at around 9.30 am, but due to the snow and ice were unable to park near the house and so pulled up in the lane upon which the house was situated.

Chris and his driver delivered the goods to the customer before setting off to their next destination. However, the lane in which they were parked was too narrow to allow the driver to turn the lorry around. It was therefore necessary for the lorry to reverse back out onto the main road.
To ensure this was done safely, Chris had to get out of the lorry cab, walk beside the moving vehicle, thereby guiding it to the end of the lane. He then had to stand in the main road to halt any oncoming traffic, making sure any potential collisions were avoided. In doing this, Chris was required to stop one vehicle that was coming down the hill. As soon as the lorry had assumed the correct position in the road, the waiting car continued on its way, while Chris walked back to the drivers cab.

However, as he was making his way back to the lorry, Chris slipped on the ice covering the road fell over. He landed hard on his right shoulder, immediately causing a sharp pain to shoot through his shoulder and back. His colleague quickly came to his assistance, helping him to the lorry and driving him to A&E. In hospital Chris was sent for an x-ray which confirmed he had in fact broken his collar bone.

Chris was soon discharged from hospital with instructions to rest, as this is usually enough treatment for such a break to mend. Nevertheless, after a couple of months it became apparent that the collar bone would not knit itself. Consequently, Chris had to undergo an operation to have the collar bone pinned. Because of his accident, he was forced to take three months off work, and to this date continues to suffer occasional bouts of pain and discomfort in his shoulder.

After discussing his accident with the Work Accident Solicitors, we advised Chris he was entitled to make a personal injury claim. Indeed, his employer had acted negligently, not only sending him on a delivery job when it was unsafe to do so, but also failing to provide protective equipment. We settled Chris’s claim and he was awarded £5,400 compensation.

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