A Welsh care worker, gravely injured in a workplace accident after a lift malfunctioned, has received a five-figure settlement of compensation.
The accident occurred when fifty-two year-old Carol Conway was working at the Pontcanna House Care Home in Cardiff on the 6th March 2012. Acting as a care assistant, Mrs Conway was helping a ninety-six year old resident, Mrs Lewis, from her room on the second floor to the ground floor, where the facilities for breakfast were located.
The pair were waiting at the lifts when they heard the sound indicating the lift had arrived at the floor. Mrs Conway unlocked the door using her keys and reversed Mrs Lewis’ wheelchair into the lift. Yet a known fault in the system meant that the floor of the lift had not arrived to the level when the rest of the compartment did, causing both Mrs Conway and Mrs Lewis to fall down the lift shaft, a distance of 6.3 metres, until they hit the ground floor.
Tragically, Mrs Lewis died from her the severe injuries she had sustained. Mrs Conway – who had been rendered unconscious from the fall – had fractures to her back, her ribs and her foot whilst also suffering a punctured her leg.
An inquest was launched into the circumstances of the accident, which found that the owners of the care home – Shirwan and Nasik Al-Mufti – had already been warned that the lift system was not working correctly and as a result should only have been used in emergency cases. Despite the warning, staff at the care facility were allowed to use the emergency access keys to override safety mechanisms and open the door manually.
Last year, Cardiff Crown Court fined the owners £75,000 for breaching health and safety regulations. They were also told to pay £25,000 in costs after prosecution by the Health and Safety Executives.
Mrs Conway subsequently proceeded to make a compensation claim for the accident after liability was determined. Negotiations ensued between the parties, and resulted in Mrs Conway receiving an undisclosed five-figure settlement. Speaking to the local press, Mrs Conway stated: “I was awarded compensation “but money will never change that terrible day. I think about it constantly. My heart goes out to May and her family. I am so sorry she died the way she did – it´s tragic”.Read More