The company had a small safe, about the size of the fridge in your kitchen, which was used as a fire safe. It was placed on a concrete floor and the building was only about 5 years old.
An employee partially opened to door and was apparently distracted when the door, under its own weight about a vertical hinge, closed on her thumb.
The legal company are claiming that the employer:
- Had allowed the safe to be placed on uneven ground
- Had permitted the client to use the safe when it was unsafe to do so.
- Had exposed the employee to a trap which was a foreseeable risk of injury
- Had failed to ensure that the safe had been correctly installed and was stable as required by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 6 and 20
- Had failed to provide suitable training and a system of work for opening the door
OK, all of these can be disputed. For example, the floor was level to within 1mm/m and surely the suggestion that the employer needs to provide training on how to open a door would be laughable.
But, all of these need time and cost a lot to refute.
So, beware of no win/no fee legal situations and make sure that you have risk assessments, method statements and training records for those situations which aren't as silly as this one.