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Engineer Makes Compensation Claim for a Leg Injury at Work

A man, who was seriously injured when a concrete retaining wall fell on him, has made a compensation claim for a leg injury at work against his employers.

On September 26, 2013, seventeen-year-old Connor Watson was assigned to a team working on the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme by his employer DJ Laing (Contracts) Ltd. In order to replace a broken pipe, Connor was asked to remove a letterbox of blocks from under the arch of the former Arbroath to Forfar railway.

Unfortunately, after Connor had removed the fifth block, the concrete wall that was being supported by the letterbox gave way, and its 0.46 tonne weight fell onto his legs. Both of Connor´s legs were crushed in the accident and although he has regained his mobility, it is expected that Connor will suffer from arthritis by the time he is thirty years of age.

An investigation into the accident by the Health and Safety Executive found that DJ Laing had not obtained sufficient information about the structure of the engineering site in order to take reasonable precautions to prevent Connor´s accident. The company was prosecuted for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and fined £32,000 by Forfar Sheriff´s Court in November 2015.

Although he was able to return to work in May 2014 under JD Laing´s “return to work” rehabilitation program, Connor is unable to run and will never be able to play football again. In addition to the permanent scarring on his legs, Connor will likely be disadvantaged in the labour market due to the high risk of him suffering from arthritis.

After seeking legal advice, Connor made a compensation claim for a leg injury at work against his employers. Connor´s solicitor told the Forfar Evening Post that, as negligence has already been established, the only issue that needs to be resolved is how much compensation his client is entitled to for the extent of his injuries, his past and future loss of income and loss of future pension income.

David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, said: “I confirm that Connor is currently employed by DJ Laing (Contracts) Limited and was involved in a serious accident on one of our civil engineering sites in September 2013. Connor is currently undertaking a return to work rehabilitation programme and the matter of compensation is being dealt with by our insurance company.”