• November 2010
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Accidents Will Happen

This is actually from 2009 but worth recounting nonetheless.

The quote from the solicitor and the final sentence from the HSE are worth their weight in gold.

A FARMER’S wife will receive a £25,000 pay-out from the Health & Safety Executive after falling down a hole while attending a safety awareness day.

Tania Foster’s right leg was permanently damaged after she fell into an uncovered drain at an HSE workshop at Churton, advising 200 agricultural workers how to avoid accidents.

Mrs Foster, of Brook Farm, Capenhurst, was to sue the HSE for pain, suffering and loss of amenity at Chester County Court.

But at the 11th hour the HSE – which does not accept liability – offered Mrs Foster about £25,000 and will pick up another £25,000 in legal costs.

Mrs Foster said: “I really don’t think that, for a permanent injury, that whatever I came out with, is actual compensation for that.”

Mrs Foster was part of a ‘tightly-packed’ group and in conversation with an HSE inspector when she was guided to a ‘use of ladders’ demonstration where she fell down the drain.

She remains on painkillers and must wear an ankle brace 24 hours a day after damaging her Achilles and metatarsal tendons.

“It’s painful but I have still got to get on with my job. My animals still need looking after.”
Mrs Foster said at the time that for an apology and a bunch of flowers she would have let the matter lie but was incensed by the attitude of the HSE’s lawyers.

Solicitor Michael Atkins told her in a letter: “I regret to conclude you were the author of your own misfortune and the HSE cannot admit liability for your actions and their results”.

The mother-of-two, who farms with husband Gary, added: “I will never be able to play tennis again. It’s only a little thing but my kids are both good tennis players and I can’t play with them.”

Tanya Stewart, HSE principal inspector, said: “Health and Safety Executive has settled this matter out of court, on the agreement we do not accept liability.

“Our preparation for the farming event at which the incident took place, included a risk assessment of the farm site and three visits by a health and safety awareness officer.

“The drainage hole is a common feature of working farms and as such, preventative action was not considered necessary for an event designed for farmers, farm workers and farming families.”

The Weekend Waits

I’m going out to do a wee bit of painting the town red this evening so I’ll celebrate with this, another track from The Heart of Saturday Night album from 1974.


Let’s put a new coat of paint on this lonesome old town
Set ’em up, we’ll be knockin’ em down.
You wear a dress, baby, and I’ll wear a tie.
We’ll laugh at that old bloodshot moon in that burgundy sky

All your scribbled lovedreams, are lost or thrown away,
Here amidst the shuffle of an overflowing day
Our love needs a transfusion so let’s shoot it full of wine
Fishin’ for a good time starts with throwin’ in your line.