Tom Offer of Essex met with an accident when he acceded to the demands of his employer and used a piece of metal to do his work instead of using an appropriate tool for the purpose. He suffered serious injury as a result and could not work for three months.
Offer worked for DSV Road Ltd., a company engaged in shipping tractors across the world. On the day of the accident, he was taking a tractor apart to be shipped. He requested his employers to provide him with a type of hammer for his work. However, the company authorities asked him to manage his work without it, as the tractor had to be loaded without delay.
Offer then used a piece of metal instead of the hammer. Unfortunately, he was not aware that a worker had used the same metal piece to dismantle an axle of another tractor, due to which it had developed serrated edges.
In spite of wearing protective gloves, the tendons of Offer’s right hand were torn as he used the metal, and he had to undergo surgery. It was only after three months of intensive physiotherapy that he was able to return to work, this time as a driver. His right hand has lost its grip due to permanent nerve damage and it can no longer bear cold. Offer is naturally worried about his employment prospects given the current job scenario.
After the accident, Offer approached his union Unite. He was advised to pursue a case for compensation through their lawyer Thompsons Solicitors. However, DSV Road accepted liability and paid £25,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
Thompsons Solicitors said the accident should serve as an eye opener as to how the use of inappropriate tools can cause serious harm to a worker and result in financial loss to the employer. Thus, business organizations must be particular about supplying appropriate tools even if there is a shortage of time and money.
Written by Giles Kendrick
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