One of the country´s largest homeware and household goods retailers has accepted liability for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.
In August 2013, twenty-year-old Corisande Collins was badly injured when a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being removed from a lift. The accident, which happened at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko in Leicester, was due to the roll cage being overloaded with paint pots and due to the floor of the lift not stopping level with the landing at the lift entrance.
At the time of the accident, Corisande was a first year student at Northampton University who was working part-time at the store as a customer assistant in order to fund her university studies. The accident left her with a spinal injury that has caused her to be paralysed from the hips down and confined to a wheelchair.
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and charged Wilko Retail Ltd with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Leicester Crown Court last week, representatives of the company pled guilty to failings in work practises that resulted in the employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.
After being shown X-rays of Corisande´s injury, Judge Ebraham Mooncey heard that Corisande had led an “active outgoing life” prior to the accident. The judge was told that she had just passed her driving test at the time and spent four months in a spinal injuries unit before returning to university to continue her degree eighteen months later.
The judge adjourned the hearing until January for sentencing – at which time a final settlement of compensation for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident will also be agreed. Corisande has already received one interim settlement of compensation from Wilko´s insurers and said after the hearing:
“I never imagined something like this happening to me. Wilko are taking full responsibility for what happened, but this will never make up for the fact I’ve lost the use of my legs and will spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Although my injuries are permanent, they will not stop me from achieving all I want to in life. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the support of my friends and family.”