Case study: claim of welder who suffered leg burns

Compensation: £3,500

Mr B, a welder, suffered serious burns to his left shin after molten metal fell onto his overalls. He decided to make a claim and got in contact with us.  JMW handled his claim.  Although Mr B’s employers denied liability, we were able to demonstrate that they had been negligent in their care of their employees and Mr B was awarded £3,500 in compensation.


The Accident

Mr B was carrying out his usual duties when a ball of molten metal fell onto his overalls, rolling down his leg and burning his skin through the overalls. The only protective wear that Mr B’s employers had provided him with were welding gloves and overalls and Mr B did not feel that he had been properly protected against risk of injury.


The Claim 

JMW took a witness statement that gave the full detail of Mr B’s accident.  Mr B said that nobody was in charge of personal protective equipment (PPE), and that the equipment the defendant had given him consisted of a pair of welding gloves and some overalls which the ball of molten metal that injured him had burnt through straightaway.  He told us that he had to repeatedly request the accident book from the foreman, and that the injury had been extremely painful.

We also obtained Mr B’s medical records and arranged for a consultant plastic surgeon to examine Mr B’s injuries. The surgeon concluded that Mr B would be sensitive to heat, cold and sun exposure on his burn for up to five years.


The Case 

The defendant’s insurer ignored repeated requests to respond to us, so we threatened to apply to the Court to get a response.  They finally replied, denying responsibility for Mr B’s accident, and sending several documents including an accident book, their safety policies, risk assessments and documentation relating to protective overalls Mr B had been supplied with. 

Mr B and JMW discussed the documents; they showed that the defendant had a policy of supplying employees with PPE, but gave no proof that Mr B had been supplied with PPE.  Mr B also said he couldn’t remember formal safety assessments having been carried out at the workplace, contradicting the documents we had been sent. 

Furthermore, JMW discovered that the defendant had been visited by health and safety officials previously as a result of other employees’ complaints. This supported Mr B’s claim that his employers had a poor health and safety record. 


Settling the case: compensation

We asked a Barrister to provide advice on the case.  The Barrister felt that the prospects of Mr B’s claim being successful were good.  He agreed that Mr B was not given adequate protection in his workplace, meaning the defendant had breached PPE regulations. 

We put forward an offer to settle the case at the same time as issuing Court proceedings against the defendant.  The defendant’s insurer responded and agreed to settle Mr B’s case at £3,500.  Mr B decided to accept this offer.  He was delighted with the outcome and JMW's hard work on a tricky case which had arisen as a result of the defendant’s approach to health and safety in the workplace.


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