Man Awarded Compensation for an Injury Caused by Inadequate Training

A former meat factory worker has been awarded €415,000 compensation for an injury caused by inadequate training at the High Court.

On 11th January 2011, Mohammed Ali Saleh from Mullingar in County Westmeath was working at the Moyvalley meat factory in County Kildare, when he got a pain in his back while working on the pluck station of the factory. A medical examination revealed that Mohammed had suffered a prolapse disc.

Although Mohammed had suffered back problems before, this was considerably worse. Mohammed underwent an MRI scan which showed that he required urgent decompression but, despite undergoing two operations, he was diagnosed with failed back syndrome and now uses crutches to support himself.

Mohammed sought legal advice and claimed compensation for an injury caused by inadequate training. He alleged in his legal action that Moyvalley Meats Ireland Limited had never shown him adequately how to perform the plucking process without having to engage in a twisting manoeuvre – the twisting manoeuvre having been identified as the reason for the prolapsed disc.

Moyvalley Meats contested Mohammed´s claim. The company argued that he had been given on the job training and that his current back injury was a result of an existing condition. With there being no resolution to the claim for compensation for an injury caused by inadequate training, the case went to the High Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

At the hearing, Judge Cross heard an expert witness testify that the training provided for Mohammed consisted of having him watch a fellow employee work on the pluck station. The expert said that no safe system of work had been implemented that could avoid the twisting manoeuvre, and that the training Mohammed had received was entirely inadequate for him to do the job safely.

Judge Cross found in Mohammed´s favour. He said that Moyvalley meats was in breach of statutory duty in failing to train him in what should have been the correct posture to avoid straining his back. The judge awarded Mohammed €415,000 compensation for an injury caused by inadequate training to account for his pain and suffering and loss of income.