24 Apr Butcher’s Employers’ Liability Insurance Failure
Butcher’s Employers’ Liability Insurance Failure
Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for any business that has one or more employees. This includes subcontractors and apprentices. In fact, the only possible exceptions are for businesses that employ either family members or workers who are based abroad.
This fact was recently brought home in horrific circumstances, when a 19-year-old butcher’s assistant suffered a traumatic surgical amputation as a result of hand injuries he sustained while using a mincing machine at a butcher’s shop in Surrey.
For his illegal actions in relation to the incident – which included a failure to ensure a protective guard plate on the machine, a failure to report the accident to authorities and a failure to keep up-to-date employers liability insurance – the owner of the butcher shop was sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
Additionally, the shop owner was ordered by Kingston Crown Court to pay the injured 19-year-old £75,000 in compensation as well as a £140 victim surcharge. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work.
A team investigating the accident discovered that the shop owner’s employers’ liability insurance certificate was purchased 20 days after the accident. Furthermore, the owner had initially tried to claim that the injured man was not an employee at all, but an overbearing customer who injured himself in the process of trying to mince the meat without permission.
He later retracted this allegation and changed his plea to guilty. The case goes to show that there can never be any substitute for butcher shop employers’ liability insurance and safe working practices.
If he had such a policy in play, it may have helped to indemnify him from the legal costs related to the prosecution stemming.
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