I want to find out if I can claim restaurant cook burn injury compensation for severe burns from a faulty fryer. The thermostat was broken and the oil was too hot, causing it to boil over and burn my hands and face when I lowered chips into it.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

In order to be eligible to claim restaurant cook burn injury compensation you must have sustained burns due to your employer´s negligence and you cannot have been primarily to blame for the accident.

It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that the workplace is safe and that all equipment is fully operational and properly maintained. Health risks at work need to be identified and corrected in order to keep the risk of injury down to the minimal level. Your employer is legally bound to monitor health and safety risks at work under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005)and the failure to maintain a safe workplace is considered to be negligent and represents a breach in your employer´s “duty of care”. Should an injury be sustained as a result of this negligence, as appears to be the case here, a restaurant cook burn injury compensation claim should be possible.

A fryer which has a faulty thermostat is a serious health and safety risk. However, your employer must have first been made aware of the fault in order for him or her to have taken action. Provided that the fault existed, your employer was aware of it and had adequate time to remove the fryer from service or arrange for the thermostat to be fixed, a claim for restaurant cook burn injury compensation should have a good likelihood of success. Only if your employer can establish that the fault had recently occurred, or that it had not been reported, would your eligibility to claim burn injury compensation be affected.

While there may have been negligence and a failure in a duty of care which directly caused your injury, your restaurant cook burn injury compensation claim can be affected by your actions after the accident. In order for a successful burn injury compensation claim to be made, you must have sought medical attention for your work burn injury and should have done so immediately. The treatment of burns is most effective as soon as possible after an injury has been sustained and a delay in seeking medical attention can increase the severity of the burn. If you exacerbated your injury by your own lack of care, how much compensation for a restaurant cook burn injury you may be entitled to receive could be reduced to reflect your contributory negligence.

For confirmation of whether you can claim restaurant cook burn injury compensation you should speak with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity. After listening to the full circumstances of the accident, you will have your eligibility to claim for a work burn confirmed and be given an indication of how much work burn injury compensation is likely to be awarded.