The First Hall of the Civil Court yesterday ordered two Enemalta sub-contracting companies to shoulder the responsibility of paying a total sum of €125,000 between them to an employee who seriously injured himself when a crane cable snapped while handling a large electrical transformer.
28 year-old Ronald Grima suffered a 33 per cent permanent disability while carrying out the works at Mater Dei Hospital and filed his writ against his employer Enemalta Corporation and against Enemalta’s contractor White Brothers Ltd and its subcontractor Polidano Service Station and Plant Hire Limited.
White Brothers Ltd had been engaged by Enemalta to transport a transformer from the Power Station to the hospital. The transformer had to be placed on site under the supervision of Enemalta.
The plaintiff and other Enemalta employees were entrusted with this work.
Throughout the case, it was established that at one stage when the transformer was almost ready to be put in place, one of the crane’s cables snapped and seriously injured one of Ronald Grima’s arms. The crane was hired from Polidano and was being operated by White Brothers’ employees.
In its observations, the court explained that White Brothers were responsible to ensure that the transportation of the transformer to Mater Dei hospital took place without endangering the workers present. However, it resulted that when White brothers had appointed Polidano as its subcontractor, the company failed to verify the condition and certification of the crane. The crane had not been certified to be fit for use and its cable had snapped due to wear and tear.
The court therefore found both White Brothers and Polidano jointly responsible for the accident in the proportion of one third and two-thirds respectively. Both companies were ordered to pay a total of €124,528.30 to Ronald Grima by way of compensation damages.