A man injured in an industrial accident in 2001 was awarded almost €145,000 in damages by the First Hall of the Civil Court. The court-appointed technical experts who examined the machine concluded that although the machine was not defective, there was a poor grasp of the machine alterations and over-familiarity with danger through habit and failure to take dangerous situations seriously. The experts also found that there was failure to comply with procedures as these had not been made clear to the employees. The experts added that the changing of the mould, which was done by the injured worker, ought to have been left in the hands of other employees who were conversant with the job as this was not the injured worker regular job. Procedures were not up to scratch it would have only been a question of time before someone was injured whilst changing the machine mould.
Mr Justice reiterated that it was the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe system of work and to eliminate all dangers and risks that could be eliminated. The employer had also to train his employees and establish safety procedures. In this case the company had not fulfilled its obligations and it was responsible towards Mr Stanton in damages.
When assessing the damages the court noted that the injured worker was in constant pain and had in effect lost the use of his right hand. The surgeon who had operated the injured worker told the court that the worker involved was in constant severe pain and that the complications that developed in his case were devastating. The surgeon concluded that the injured worker had suffered a 40 per cent permanent disability.
In conclusion the court found in favour of Mr Stanton and awarded him €144,675.63 in damages