Man suffers injury at Heinz factory

Famous for its baked beans and tomato ketchup, Heinz is a brand associated with quality and good taste.  However, its health and safety procedures were called into question when they were fined £20,000 after an accident at its baked beans factory in Spring Road, Wigan in April 2008.  After three years of legal wrangling, it was found to have breached safety guidelines by failing to identify safety measures which could have prevented a 65 year old man from losing his index finger, suffering nerve damage to two other fingers, and receiving deep cuts to his hand.

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Heinz pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to two health and safety offences, admitting they failed to carry out proper risk assessments and failing to give adequate training to staff.

Employers are required by law to provide a safe workplace.  In the case of Heinz, a criminal prosecution was considered necessary to punish them, to deter other employers from taking health and safety ‘shortcuts’ and to prevent them from doing it again.

Can I claim financial compensation for an injury sustained at work?

If you have an accident at work then you may be able to claim compensation from your employer.  If you were injured, you have suffered loss as a result of your injury and the accident was not your fault then your employer may be seen as negligent and thus liable to pay you financial compensation.

How do I know if the accident was not my fault?

The question is not as stupid as it seems, but an employee is often under pressure to use machinery he does not quite know how to use, or do work quicker than he thinks possible.

Your employer is required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide adequate training and guidance and ensure a safe workplace for all workers.  If he fails then it is a breach of his duty of care and he could face criminal sanctions.  If the breach results in an injury, then compensation could be claimed.

For example, if the Heinz factory worker lost the use of his hand he could claim financial compensation for:

  • Hospital and other medical fees;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Future losses, for example, loss of earnings for time spent off of work. He may be unable to go back to his old job, and may not be able to find another.  He may therefore receive financial compensation for future loss of earnings.

The calculation of loss is a complicated matter.  That’s where Manners Pimblett comes in.  Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION and our work accident specialists will help you to claim the compensation you deserve.

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