Manufacturing Plant Employee Receives Compensation for Back Injury

A manufacturing plant employee has received €46,000 in compensation for a back injury he sustained due to improper working conditions.

In March 2012, Daniel Hanley (24) of Stoneybatter, Dublin, was in the employment of Castolin Eutectic, working in their manufacturing plant in the Magna Business Park. While he was pushing a pallet truck at the sight, he slipped and fell. He was immediately taken to hospital, where he was treated for soft tissue damage to his back. He was rendered unable to return to work for six weeks.

Daniel sought legal counsel, and made a claim for compensation against Castolin Eutectic, claiming that they had not implemented a safe system of work for his employees. The cause of Daniel’s accident was revealed to be an accumulation of graphite on the workshop floor. Daniel used this in evidence, alleging that the company had failed to ensure that the floor surface was suitable and fit for purpose.

The defendants denied all liability for Daniel’s injuries, and refused to grant consent to the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of the claim. As a result, Daniel was given authorisation to pursue his action for compensation for a pallet truck accident through the court system.

The case was brought to the High Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Castolin Eutectic’s legal team argued that Daniel’s slip injury was due to his own negligence. However, the judge was informed that there had been a number of slip and fall accidents in the weeks leading up to Daniel’s own accident; all of which were as a result of a graphite spill. He was further informed that the recommended safety measures to prevent further incidents of this nature had not been implemented, despite the risks.

The judge concluded that Daniel had done nothing wrong prior to the accident, and that it was likely there was indeed a small amount of graphite on the workshop floor. The court ruled in Daniel’s favour, and he was awarded €46,000 in compensation for his injuries.