A former professional jockey who was injured while working on an equestrian farm has won £22,000 in compensation.

Jeffery Kear was working as an equestrian facilities manager at Stockland Lovell, near Bridgwater in Somerset. He had only been employed there for two weeks when the accident happened. He was moving two large pallets when they fell onto his left foot, injuring his big toe.

Mr Kear saw a doctor, who dressed the wound and prescribed antibiotics. A few days later, however, the injury was so painful that he could not walk. He went to hospital, where doctors discovered that the injury had become badly infected and told him that the top half of his toe would have to be amputated. He has had to learn to walk again, and has not been able to return to work.

Mr Kear brought a claim against his former employer. No risk assessment of the task he was performing had been carried out. In particular, Mr Kear had not been provided with boots with steel toe-caps, which would most likely have prevented the injury.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), agriculture is the most dangerous industry in the UK. There were eight fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2010/11, which represents approximately 10 per cent of all workplace fatalities, in spite of the fact that agriculture accounts for less than 1 per cent of the workforce. In addition, there were 222 reported major injuries per 100,000 agricultural workers, although the HSE estimates that the true number was more than double this figure.

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Employers have a legal duty to assess health and safety risks in the workplace and to take reasonable steps to remove or minimise those risks. This includes providing any necessary protective clothing and equipment and training staff on safe methods of working.

If you have been injured at work because of your employer’s failure to ensure that jobs are carried out in accordance with health and safety law, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us to discuss your claim. It is important to take advice early on as there are time limits that apply when making a claim for compensation.