O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors were instructed on behalf of Ms C, a 51 year old lady who, at the time of injury, was employed as a cook in a fish and chip shop. Dionne Darragh acted in this case.
At the end of her shift, in August 2016, Ms C was cleaning around the chip pan when her hand slipped into the oil and she suffered severe burns to her right forearm.
In light of the system adopted by the employer, the chip pans had to be cleaned before being allowed to cool down. The simple method to reduce the risk of injury would have been to provide adequate gloves which go past the elbow which provide a sufficient degree of protection that if they do come into contact with hot oil, the skin of the employee is not damaged. Gloves were not provided.
Following our investigations it transpired that the risk assessment was too generalised, inadequate and not followed by the employer. In light of the discovery, we were confident that Ms C would establish full liability without any deduction for contributory negligence.
We obtained medical evidence from a Consultant Plastic Surgeon which confirmed Ms C sustained an extremely painful injury and that there are long term consequences in both hot and cold sensitivity and change in discolouration.
Scarring cases are somewhat subjective, however as Ms C sustained a visible burn, plus taking account of the discolouration and the long term discomfort, we negotiated settlement in the sum of £27,500.
Employers must comply with stringent Health and Safety Regulations to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace. If you have been involved in an accident at work, please contact Dionne Darragh to discuss further.