£1.5m compensation pay-out for worker injured in crane accident

 Birchall Blackburn Law has helped a Preston man secure a £1.5m pay-out after he fell victim to life threatening health and safety negligence in the workplace.

The 61-year-old gentlemen sustained life changing injuries when he was struck in the face by a 35kg crane hook while operating complex machinery at his place of work in March 2010.

The horror accident happened while he was using a crane to lift a sheet of metal off a series of rollers at the manufacturing plant. A malfunction in the rollers triggered the crane hook to become caught, propelling it into the air and striking him in the head when it came back down.

The man was knocked unconscious and left hospitalised for four weeks. The huge scale of the trauma meant he had to be put into an induced coma, registering level three on the Glasgow Coma Scale – the worst level of trauma on the scoring system.

He was left with a depressed skull fracture with frontal skull defects, focal brain injury with scarring to the brain, suffered major facial lacerations with extensive skin and muscle loss, multiple fractures to the nose, cheek and eye socket, with loss of the right nostril as well as permanent eye damage.

The health and safety failing means the Preston man has had to undergo a series of reconstructive procedures to his right eye, skull and sinus, as well as other medical surgery.

A pressure bolt was needed to relieve pressure and swelling on the brain, while a titanium plate was also inserted into his skull to prevent the bone from dying. This carries an increased risk of developing brain disease.

Due to the seriousness of the head and brain injuries, he is now a protected party under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and is unable to ever work again. His wife now acts as his full-time carer and has had to give up work to provide him with round-the-clock support.

After originally denying liability, the client’s former employer finally admitted it was to blame for the accident in the five year legal battle. He has now been awarded a £1.5m compensation pay-out to cover loss of work and to help with rehabilitation and other medical costs incurred as a result of the accident.

Dianne Yates specialises in serious and catastrophic injury cases and is a partner at Birchall Blackburn Law. Dianne represented the client alongside her team of experienced solicitors, playing a key role in securing the final settlement figure.

Birchall Blackburn Law also provided additional support to the client, helping him access the medical support and care needed to rebuild his life, as well as coordinating ongoing rehabilitation and liaising with financial advisers to help map-out the final settlement figure.

Dianne said: “This case of negligence has had a devastating impact on our client’s life. He has suffered multiple life-changing injuries through no fault of his own which means he is no longer able to work. It’s distressing as the accident could easily have been prevented had his employer adhered to health and safety regulations.

“While I would hope that this case is unique, the government has recently relaxed health and safety rules, so with decreased inspections there is less emphasis on safety in the workplace. This means that many others could now face increased dangers and be more prone to accidents at work, particularly those who work with machinery or in the manufacturing sector.