A Summary of the Facts Surrounding the Negligent Training Case of Clark v. Coldwater Mach. Co.
Andrew Clark, aged 50 years, was working as a machinist or an operator at a General Electric plant when the corporation hired the services of Coldwater Machine Company to put up some equipment for them. Subsequent to the delivery of the equipment, representatives from Coldwater Company went to the newly installed plant with an aim of training the employees on how to use the machine. At some point during the training process, as Clark clasped a line of airline to the machinery, a pneumatic glide located at the top part of the equipment jolted to and fro unexpectedly, striking his face. His head thrashed rearward and he “suffered a herniated disk at C6-7’’ (American Association for Justice, 2012). He currently suffers from aches and limited range movement in his neckline, and his doctor has proposed fusion or combination surgery. Clark sued Coldwater Co. of ‘negligent training’ arguing that they failed to give written cautions or directives, and train or guide users, in addition to flagging (placing red flags of warning) on machines that are malfunctioned (Clark v. Coldwater Mach. Co., 2011). He won the case and was granted approximately $476,300 as compensation.
Three Ways of Reducing Negligent Training Cases
Firstly, machine manufacturers can post safety guidelines in places that are visible to users of the machine (Schwartz & Appel, 2008). For instance, a post informing machine users to ensure that moving parts are sufficiently oiled would prevent the possibility of a gliding part getting stuck and jerking out abruptly when pulled or pushed, like it happened in Clark’s case.
Secondly, employers should post warning signs on machines or environments that are dangerous (Schwartz & Appel, 2008). Posts such as ‘Hot Surface’, ‘Slippery floor’, and ‘Machine Out of order’, amongst others, can prevent possible accidents such as burns, and bone injuries obtained from falling.
Finally, employers can provide adequate safety training to their employees, in addition to giving them protective wear such as helmets, dust nets, and gloves for working in risky environments that may pose health hazards or accidents (Schwartz & Appel, 2008).
American Association for Justice. (2012, January 17). Case In Point: Lack of Warnings, Negligent Training Lead to Machinist’s Injury. Retrieved from http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/17504.htm
Clark v. Coldwater Mach. Co., No. 4:10-cv-02520 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 3, 2011).
Schwartz, V. E., & Appel, C. E. (2008). Effective Communication of Warnings in the Workplace: Avoiding Injuries in Working with Industrial Materials. Mo. L. Rev., 73, 1.