Insulation worker awarded €62,000 after slipping on a ladder

Insulation worker awarded €62,000 after slipping on a ladder
The judge said the 28-year-old has a "niggling unfortunate injury" which continues to affect him five years on from the incident. File Picture.

An insulation worker who suffered a crush injury to his finger when he slipped on a ladder as he worked on a house in Limerick has been awarded €62,000 by a High Court judge.

Jonas Poska, Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said, suffered a serious work related injury which has left lasting consequences.

The judge said the 28-year-old has a “niggling unfortunate injury” and, she said, while he had been given some safety equipment, he was not given sufficient training or a line through the ladder as he should have had.

Jonas Poska, 28, of Station Street, Clongriffin, Dublin had sued DCI Energy Control Ltd, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim and Domestic Commercial Industrial Energy Ltd, with offices at Greenhills Business Park, Tallaght, Co Dublin, as a result of the accident on November 26, 2014.

He had claimed there was an alleged failure to exercise any reasonable care for his safety while he was engaged in his work and an alleged failure to man the ladder.

He had further claimed there was an alleged failure to provide proper safety equipment for the ladder in use.

The claims were denied it was alleged there was contributory negligence on the part of Mr Poska and that he had allegedly failed to take any or any adequate care for his own safety and welfare. It was further contended that Mr Poska attempted to undertake a task in an alleged dangerous and unsafe manner.

In evidence, Mr Poska said he was putting in polystyrene bead insulation in a house and had gone up the ladder to pump the insulation into the wall.

As he was descending the ladder, he lost his footing and swung to the left and his hand became trapped between the wall and the ladder. He suffered a displaced fracture to his hand as a result. He said the grip of his left hand had been affected and he continues to have a permanent restriction of movement on the ring finger.

Judge rules that Mr Poska received insufficient training and did not overstate his difficulties 

In her judgement, Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said that Mr Poska was a credible witness who did not overstate his difficulties and, in fact, understated them.

She said this was a reasonably foreseeable injury and Mr Poska was acting as best he could in circumstances where he did not have the additional wire or languard to assist him.

Mr Poska, she said, was not given sufficient training and while he had some equipment, he did not have a line through the ladder as he should have had and the judge said a ladder in itself is a dangerous piece of equipment. The defendants were negligent in failing to provide a safe and secure system of work for Mr Poska with adequate safety measures.

The judge said the injury is serious and he continues to suffer from it five years on, although through his extensive intensive efforts with hand therapy Mr Poska had done a lot to mitigate his losses.

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