Accident at Work*

Angle Grinder Accident Claims*

Angle grinder accidents* fall into the category of accidents at work* and in cases where an employee is not provided with proper training or the relevant safety gear, the employer may be held liable for the accident.

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A Powerful Tool

Angle grinder accidents* can occur in cases where an inexperienced or untrained person is using this tool to cut/polish stone, concrete and metal. This handheld tool is powered via compressed air or via a motor and is used in many industries such as welding, farming and vehicle repairs. If used incorrectly, angle grinders can cause various injuries, ranging in severity. In some cases, these work-related accidents can lead to fatalities.

Who is Liable?

When making an accident at work claim it is important to determine who is liable for the cause of the accident and the injuries you have sustained. In many cases, it may be found to be either the employer or employee. Many workplace accidents* are caused by either negligent behaviour or a breach in duty of care.

Employers

All employers have a duty of care to their employers to ensure that their health and safety is a priority throughout the course of their work. They have a responsibility to carry out frequent risk assessments in order to identify and eliminate potential hazards which could lead to an accident. They also have certain duties which should be carried out to help prevent accidents in the workplace. These duties are outlined in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and include;

  • Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety
  • Providing adequate training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Ensuring that the workplace is practical for the work that is to be carried out

A breach in following these duties could potentially lead to the cause of an accident which they will be found liable for. In many cases, claims made following an accident at work* are made against an employer for reason of negligence.

Employees

Workplace accidents* can also be caused by employees who have failed to co-operate with the regulations in place and acted in a negligent manner. If it is found that they have failed to show a reasonable duty of care following an accident, then they may be found liable for the accident and any claim made against their employer may be unsuccessful. Employees also have certain duties which should be carried out to ensure the health and safety of both themselves and their co-workers.

  • Co-operating with their employer in following regulations in place
  • Attending any training that is provided to them
  • Report any problems or defects which they come across during the course of their work

It is important to note that if it is found that you have contributed to the cause of your accident, through contributory negligence, you may not be entitled to make a claim.

Common Injuries

Some of the common injuries sustained from an angle grinder accident include:

  • Cuts and Lacerations
  • Face Injuries
  • Eye Injuries
  • Breaks and Fractures
  • Burns
  • Fatalities
  • Amputations
  • Industrial diseases caused by overexposure to hazardous chemicals and materials

Causes

Lack of Training

All employees should be provided with adequate training prior to undertaking their work. This helps to prevent accidents in the workplace* and make it easier for their work to be carried out correctly and in a safe manner. This can also help to prevent accidents as people will be more aware of what is expected of them. Workplace machinery that is used by an untrained employee could lead to long-term injuries.

Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

An employer has a responsibility to ensure that their employees are provided with the correct protective equipment in order to carry out their job. This includes footwear, gloves, clothing, hats, goggles and facial masks. Failing to provide this is a common cause of accidents and injuries. This can leave people more at risk of sustaining an injury as they do not have the added protection level that is required when using dangerous machinery and equipment.

Faulty Equipment

Equipment and machinery that is used in the workplace should be maintained to a high standard at all times. Over time as the machinery is used on a more regular basis, it is likely that there will be some wear and tear. If this is not repaired and maintained it is likely to lead to an injury being sustained by an employee. Faulty equipment could also be a potential risk as it will not work as it is supposed to. This is generally as a result of negligence or a fault on behalf of the manufacturer.

Safety Guards

Safety guards should be fitted on all equipment and machinery in the workplace to avoid an accident such as fingers becoming trapped or degloving injuries. Failing to provide and equip these guards can lead to serious injuries being sustained. It is important that these guards are checked regularly to ensure that they are not broken and still can be used for the purpose intended.


What to do after an accident at work*?

Following an accident at work*, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work* are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used in reference to any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents that could happen in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    •  How the accident happened
    •  Details of any witnesses
    •  If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused the accident
  5. Speak to a workplace accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the workplace accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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