A teaching assistant was injured after their employer failed to provide them with sufficient training
This week’s case involves our client who was working as a Teaching Assistant. She was responsible for helping with a forestry school activity, which ended in her having to make hot chocolate for the pupils using a kettle on an open fire, something she had neither knowledge nor experience of.
The school did not provide our client with any training, and having been provided with the kettle she was expected to simply get on and do it.
Our client lit the fire and placed the kettle on the heat. When she subsequently leaned over to see if the fire was still lit under it, the pressure which had built up caused the rudder stopper to be forced out and boiling water was sprayed over our client, causing her injury.
The school argued our client had been trained, but could not produce any documentary evidence to prove it. Our client was adamant that she had not been. When the case came before a Judge, he accepted that our client had not received any formal training, and found that a brief conversation is insufficient.
Speaking after the Judge awarded our client compensation, the solicitor from Thompsons Solicitors handling the case said: “This was an accident waiting to happen. Our client was asked to do a task she had never done before and which was objectively dangerous, and could have led to multiple injuries. Whilst schools should encourage exploration and new activities, they should also ensure that adequate training is provided so those activities can be conducted safely”.
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