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22 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Richard Edwards

Damages secured for client who suffered life changing injuries in a workplace accident

Damages secured for client who suffered life changing injuries in a workplace accident. In January 2014, Philip Grace, at the time a 43 year old father of a young son, suffered catastrophic injuries at Recresco Ltd, a glass recycling plant in Ellesemere Port, Merseyside.

Philip was working at the plant as a fabricator welder through an agency, when he was asked to repair a vibrating block on a hopper machine perched amongst moving conveyor belts.

A team leader and a manager, employed by Recresco, told him that they were not prepared to stop production and isolate the plant whilst he carried out the repairs.

As Philip was working under the conveyor, his right hand got caught on the belt and it was pulled into a tail roller, causing his hand to be severed. Some months earlier safety guards around the conveyor belts and the tail rollers were removed.

Phil was rushed to Whiston Hospital but unfortunately medics were unable to re-attach his severed limb. He then underwent further surgery in which his right arm was amputated below the elbow.

Philip is right handed and his injuries have had a devastating effect on his life. He used to enjoy taking his 8 year old son Edward swimming and playing table tennis with him, or playing a round of golf with his Dad, but unfortunately, due to the accident, he is no longer able to take part in such activities.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the incident and Recresco Ltd were fined a total of £50,000.

The company admitted liability for Philip’s injuries and Richard Edwards, Partner and Serious Injury Solicitor here at Hugh James, acted for Philip securing the compensation needed for him to be able to move forward with his life. Richard said:

“This is another sad indictment of the record of the waste and recycling industry. The industry generally needs to pull its socks up and start taking better care of the safety of its employees. Data from the Health & Safety Executive shows that it is a high risk industry that accounts for a disproportionate number of work place injuries. This needs to improve.

“Rescresco, however, really must take a long and hard look at itself and not shirk from the difficult questions. This examination must continue once the media spotlight and the scrutiny of the courts has moved on.

“The death of one employee in 2010, and now this horrendous injury to Phil, stands as a record that some might say belongs to a Dickensian workhouse rather than a 21st century recycling plant. Phil sincerely hopes that the improvements that have occurred since his accident continue and become entrenched in the organisation.”


Author bio

Richard Edwards is a Partner in the Serious Injury Department of our Manchester office. For nearly 20 years he has handled high value complex personal injury claims for those who have sustained brain, spinal and amputation injuries. He has dealt with claims in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and those with cross border jurisdiction issues, including in the US and Republic of Ireland.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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