Employee electrocuted at work receives settlement

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Employee electrocuted at work receives settlement

2nd November 2011

A 25-year-old East London man who was electrocuted at work has received £50,000 in compensation in an out of court settlement.

Matthew Claxson, a serious injuries expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client - who was studying accountancy part-time whilst working as a supermarket cashier - was standing behind a till scanning products for a customer when his screen went blank and his scanner stopped working.

“My client had previously been shown how to re-boot the system in the event of his system crashing as it was not an uncommon problem and had happened to him before,” said Matthew, a partner at the firm.

“As he had been instructed, he bent down and reached under his till so that he could disconnect the lead going from the mains to a transformer that powered his system,” added Matthew. “As he grasped the lead, his thumb and palm came into contact with the transformer - which should have been sealed but was missing its cover - causing an electrical surge to run up his right arm and through his entire body.”

The claimant, who is right-handed, collapsed and lost consciousness. He was attended to by his colleagues before an ambulance took him to Whipps Cross Hospital. He was then transferred to a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford where he remained for three days.

The man suffered an electrical burn injury to his right hand and an extensive neurological injury to his right arm and shoulder. His hand took six months to heal, during which time he was unable to move his arm owing to numbness running between his injured hand and right shoulder.

“This was an interesting case as the most significant aspect was the psychological injury my client experienced rather than any physical injuries he sustained,” said Matthew. “Incredibly, as a child, he suffered severe burns which required reconstructive surgery to the same right thumb and hand that were injured in this incident.

“As a result, he has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has included daily flashbacks, anxiety, compulsive disorders and depression,” added Matthew. “His PTSD was so bad he was unable to complete his accountancy exams and had to delay starting work as a trainee accountant.

“My client has received both physiotherapy and counselling,” concluded Matthew. “He has now recovered movement in his right arm but he still has some residual pain within his right thumb. He has now however, completed his accountancy exams and it is hoped the settlement he has received will help him as he embarks upon his chosen career.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents in the workplace.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.