A primary school found itself in hot water recently when a cook suffered a personal injury at work.
Due to staff shortages, the cook had to work on her own and was under a great deal of pressure to get meals prepared on time. At the time the accident occurred, the woman was lifting a pan of boiling rice from a cooker. She had wrapped an oven cloth around her hands to protect them but a section of the cloth caught on the cooker and the pan tipped, causing the boiling contents to spill onto her arm.
The school had not provided the cook with arm protectors or an overall with long sleeves and she suffered burns to her arm. The woman was taken to hospital and needed to remain off work until her injuries started to heal. During that time, she needed help with personal care and routine daily activities.
The cook contacted a firm of personal injury solicitors to see if she could make a claim for compensation. She felt that the school should have provided her with more appropriate protective materials, such as oven gloves or gauntlets.
The accident solicitors filed a personal injury claim against the woman’s employer on the grounds that they did not provide adequate protective equipment. The employer denied liability and the case proceeded to court.
The Judge ruled that the employer had not conducted a risk assessment and the fact that there had been no previous accidents did not mean that the risk was not present. He awarded the cook an undisclosed sum of personal injury compensation.