A former employee at the Moyvalley meat factory has received compensation for a back injury he sustained due to being inadequately trained on the job.
In January 2011, Mohammed Ali Saleh of Mullingar, County Westmeath, was an employee at the Moyvalley meat factory in County Kildare. While he was working at the plant, he endured back pain while he was working at the chicken pluck station. Mohammed sought medical attention, and it was revealed that he was suffering from a prolapsed disc.
Mohammed had suffered from previous back problems, but none matched this severity of pain. An MRI scan was taken of the region, and it was revealed that he required an urgent decompression. Despite these measures, and two further operations, he was diagnosed with failed back syndrome and now requires crutches to support himself.
Mohammed sought legal counsel and claimed compensation for an injury caused by inadequate training against his employers, Moyvalley Meats Ireland Limited. He claimed that he had never been taught who to perform the plucking process without having to constantly twist his body around. It was this twisting manoeuvre which was attributed to causing his back pain.
The defendants contested their former employee’s claim. They claimed that the training had been adequate and that his back pain was a result of an existing injury. Due to this disagreement over liability, the case was taken to be heard in front of Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.
An expert witness testimony claimed that the training provided for Moyvalley employees consisted of having them watch a fellow employee work on the pluck station. The expert said that no safe system of work had been implemented as to avoid the twisting manoeuvre, and that the trading was entirely inadequate.
As a result of this testimony, the judge found in Mohammed’s favour. He stated that Moyvalley meats violated their statutory duty of care in failing to train him. The judge awarded Mohammed €415,000 in compensation to account for his loss of income and for his pain.