Worker fails to win compensation after slipping on onion

A restaurant employee has failed in his legal bid to win £20,000 in compensation after he slipped on some onions while working at a garden centre kitchen in Glendoick, Scotland.

Thomas Fleming suffered a knee injury that required surgery and still causes him pain following the slip at Glendoick Garden Centre, which was cleared of any wrongdoing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr Fleming had been asked to fill two water jugs when he slipped and fell, injuring his left knee, in June 2012. Another employee said she had seen pieces of onion underneath his feet after the fall, but no other employee backed this up.

If your business operates a kitchen, it is your responsibility to ensure sufficient safety standards to protect your employees. As well as good health and safety policies, your company should also consider employers’ liability insurance in addition to the required general business insurance.

Lord Turnball, the presiding judge, said that the kitchens were well-run, clean, had given attention to health and safety, and had effectively trained staff in kitchen safety procedures.

Several employees were called as witnesses in the case, but the judge said that the employee’s claim about seeing onion on the floor was “weak”.

Mr Fleming welled-up when he heard the judge’s verdict. He said: “I am disappointed by the court decision — try explaining to your young son that you can’t chase him or play with him anymore. I have found the whole thing extremely upsetting.

“It has been a nightmare. I could not afford to keep my flat, so I have had to move back to my parents’ house in Glenrothes. I started college, but I had to leave because I was having trouble with my knee. I want to work, but I haven’t been able to find a job.”