Essex County Council admits liability in attack of care worker
Employers are legally obliged to meet health and safety standards, including the provision of proper training and equipment used in the course of work. In every industry, there is the risk of work-related injury or illness, and employers must take the necessary steps to minimise the risk of workplace accidents.
Essex County Council recently admitted liability for injuries suffered by a residential support worker who was attacked in 2011 by a teenage boy with learning difficulties. The employee, who has worked in the care industry for 22 years, was struck on the face, head and ear, and the attack was later found to have accelerated degenerative nerve damage in her neck.
It was also later discovered that her employer had turned off the panic alarms provided to staff, and that staff members had not been notified. As the attack was happening, the woman and another staff member tried repeatedly to press the fob panic alarms, but it was ultimately the women’s screams that alerted other staff members to the incident.
The Health and Safety Executive issued an improvement notice to Essex County Council following the attack, and the care house where the incident occurred has reportedly complied with the requirement.
Some work environments are inherently more dangerous than others, but regardless of the kind of job you have, your employer must take adequate measures to mitigate the risk of injury. When employers fail in this regard, often the lives of workers are changed permanently. It is only fair, then, that injured workers receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Source: Essex Chronicle, “Care home worker’s terrifying attack at hands of boy, 14, after panic alarm switched off,” Megan Tatum, Sept. 20, 2014