Sunday 18 March 2018

Sewage plant worker who slipped and fell on plant at work awarded €47,000

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Stock picture

A 55-YEAR-old sewage plant worker who slipped and fell on a path at work has been awarded over €47,000 by the High Court.

James Kelly was working at the Tipperary sewage treatment plant, which was being decommissioned, when he fell on a pathway at the side of a flume used for conveying raw sewage.

Mr Justice Raymond Fullam held Mr Kelly, Corville Road, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, was 40pc responsible for the accident.

Maintenance was part of Mr Kelly's job at the plant in Templemore and that included the cleaning of the flume surrounds, the judge said.  He was the only worker at the plant.

As an experienced worker,  Mr Kelly  should have dealt with the situation himself or, if he couldn't for equipment reasons, he should have brought it to the attention of management before it became a hazard, he said.

In the circumstances, the judge reduced the award he was making from €79,000 to €47,400.

Mr Kelly had sued Templemore Town Council as a result of the fall at the plant  on February 3,2010.

He claimed there was a failure to provide a safe place or system of work  and that he had not been provided with appropriate tools such as a power hose to carry out his tasks.

He further claimed  that sewage waste had overflowed from the inlet channel on to the pathways of the plant.

The claims were denied.

Mr Kelly told the court as a result of the accident, he had bad headaches and backaches.  They continued over the next number of weeks along with pain and spasms and he was unable to return to work.

Mr Justice Fullam accepted Mr Kelly's evidence that a lot of the time there was an issue with the pumps and he did not have time to clean the paths on a regular basis.

The judge said there was no dispute the hard standing surrounds of the flume were in a bad state on the day of the accident.

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