If you have suffered an accident in a factory or food processing environment, you may have certain questions in mind regarding your employer’s responsibilities and whether you are eligible to make a claim against them. On this page, you will find some general guidance relating to typical injuries sustained in factories and food-processing workplaces.
Bringing a factory accident claim against your employer
Factory accidents and accidents at work involving meat processing equipment are relatively common which is perhaps unsurprising given the nature of the risks that are associated with the activities involved.
Many accidents in meat factories result from handling excessive weight, i.e. having to carry carcasses that are too heavy for one individual to carry on their own.
In some cases employees are provided with gauntlets but find that it is not realistically possible for them to work as quickly are they are expected to by their employer while wearing these protective garments, resulting in hand injuries from knives and other cutting implements.
Many employees working in the meat processing industry are foreign nationals whose first language is not English. As a result, there can often be language issues, where employees have ostensibly been trained in a certain area of health and safety but haven’t properly understood what was involved or expected of them, or how they were being told to carry out their duties correctly and safely.
Unrealistic productivity targets
More generally, one tends to find that employees are often trained, or shown an ideal way of doing things, but then expected to work at such a speed that it’s not possible to work in the way that they have been trained if they are going to meet the targets that are imposed on them. In those circumstances, people are naturally inclined to cut corners and try to do whatever is necessary to work as quickly as they believe they need to. This is often seen by management but isn’t stopped because they realise that it’s going to affect productivity.
Accordingly, one has to look at the work environment in its overall context, particularly if management is alleging contributory negligence in the event of a claim. It may well be the case that paperwork was in order and training was provided, but that in the actual day-to-day management of the site safety was overlooked, corners were cut, and best practice was deviated from.
Take a look at the Health & Safety Authority PDF – Guidance on the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences). It contains useful information regarding the reporting requirements of employers.
Your employer’s duty of care
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees are able to carry out their duties safely. The following are some of the areas where employers must provide a duty of care.
- Regular maintenance of machinery and work tools to ensure they are in safe working order.
- The provision of training for the job and the machinery used in the duties of the job.
- The provision of safety clothing and gear such as high visibility jackets and safety goggles.
- Ensuring that the factory floor is kept clear of tripping hazards.
- Ensuring that regular risk assessments are carried out and reasonable steps have been taken to prevent any accidents from occuring.
If you have worked in a food or product processing environment where one or more of these issues has been overlooked, you may be eligible to bring a factory accident claim against your employer.
About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields including factory accident claims and industrial compensation cases. We are a family-run business, who pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. If you have been involved in a factory accident or sustained an injury in a meat processing environment, you can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance with your claim.
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Factory Accidents Claims Specialists
Get in contact with our personal injury solicitors today to make a start on your claim or gather more information. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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