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  • FIRST POST
    • skot4th
    • By skot4th 16th Oct 16, 7:14 PM
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    skot4th
    Medical incident at work - New Suit ruined - Whose responsible?
    • #1
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:14 PM
    Medical incident at work - New Suit ruined - Whose responsible? 16th Oct 16 at 7:14 PM
    On Monday of this week I was in a meeting at work with about 20 or so colleagues. One of them had only just joined the company and was staying over in Manchester (head office) as he was based in the London office.

    Unfortunately during the meeting this colleague had an epileptic fit, falling off his chair and banging his head. Our office first aider was on in the room in seconds, and asked for coats / jackets to be placed under his head to prevent him from injuring himself further. As my suit jacket was on top, it ended up being covered in blood.

    Later that day I took the jacket to Timpsons to be dry cleaned, however they refused to take it as the blood hadn't fully dried, so returned it again on Wednesday. Yesterday I picked it up to find that most of the blood / saliva was still on the suit. Timpsons have offered to re-clean the jacket, however say that there's no guarantee it will come out.

    I wasn't to bothered about the cost of cleaning the suit - A couple of pound is nothing compared to the guy having a fit and injuring himself, however I am a little bit more concerened if the jacket is ruined, seeing though it cost almost £200 only 3 months ago.

    My question is, if the jacket / suit is ruined, who's responsible for replacing it? I don't want to come across as cold hearted, however I also don't want to be massively out of pocket.

    Is it

    My employer - They specify that you must wear a suit to work. The culture dictates that this is a nice suit and the phrase "look like your going to a weddingicon is often banded about. It was my work's first aider who placed the jackets under my colleagues head, as well as the presentation video (put together by the marketing team) without no warning of flashing lights which seemed to set his fit off.

    My colleague - He was staying at head office for a week and didn't bring his epilepsy medication. He knew that he was prone to fits (as he said the following day) but didn't speak up when told we were going to watch some videos on the projector.

    Me - That's life. Things happen beyond our control and I have to live with it.

    As I say, I don't want to come across as harsh. I'm not particularly fussed paying £10 to have the jacket cleaned. I just don't want to be £200 out of pocket (more if the suit is no longer sold as the trousers would be useless without a jacket) when it wasn't my fault.

    I'm going to wait until I get the jacket back from the cleaners for the second time before raising the issue with work.

    Also, if you were in this position (had your clothing ruined) or my colleagues position regarding the ruining of someones suit what would you do?

    Thanks in advance

    Scott
Page 1
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 16th Oct 16, 7:23 PM
    • 2,292 Posts
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    Andypandyboy
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:23 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:23 PM
    That's life. Things happen beyond our control and I have to live with it.

    I think that is the tack I would take. I doubt the issue is as simple as the person concerned "didn't bring his meds" or "didn't speak up when the PP went on" Epilepsy is, or can be, quite an uncertain condition and the triggers are varied. I suspect he was very embarrssed by what had happened but it is a medical condition and so, unpredictable. Nor was it his fault that the first aider asked for jackets....
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
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    Mr.Generous
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    a suit jacket can be washing in the washing machine, probably does it less harm than dry cleaning chemicals. What have you got to loose? A guy I worked with years ago used to wash all his suit jackets in domestic WM, he had previously worked at a dry cleaners and wouldn't use them!
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    • 5,387 Posts
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    Takeaway_Addict
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    That's life. Things happen beyond our control and I have to live with it.

    I think that is the tack I would take. I doubt the issue is as simple as the person concerned "didn't bring his meds" or "didn't speak up when the PP went on" Epilepsy is, or can be, quite an uncertain condition and the triggers are varied. I suspect he was very embarrssed by what had happened but it is a medical condition and so, unpredictable. Nor was it his fault that the first aider asked for jackets....
    Originally posted by Andypandyboy
    But it was his fault that he didn't take all the neccersary precautions!

    I'd be asking the person that had the fit to buy a new jacket.
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Oct 16, 7:29 PM
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    NeilCr
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:29 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:29 PM
    I'd just be glad the guy was okay.
    • Callie22
    • By Callie22 16th Oct 16, 7:31 PM
    • 2,699 Posts
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    Callie22
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:31 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:31 PM
    But it was his fault that he didn't take all the neccersary precautions!

    I'd be asking the person that had the fit to buy a new jacket.
    Originally posted by Takeaway_Addict
    I'd personally write it off - it's annoying but it's just one of those things, precautions weren't taken, apparently meds weren't taken correctly but given that someone was seemingly quite badly hurt I don't think it's worth the 'bad feeling' that it would create around the office if the OP pursues the poor guy for a jacket. I think it would make the OP come over as a bit heartless and that probably wouldn't do his reputation much good.
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 16th Oct 16, 7:37 PM
    • 2,692 Posts
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    Sleazy
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:37 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:37 PM
    (A true story)

    Many years ago, having cycled to work, I parked my bicycle in the cycle sheds. Someone jumped off the building roof and went through the cycle shed roof, landing on my bike and buckling the wheel plus other damage. The company offered recompense for the damage without asking.
    *** IF IN DOUBT, BLAME BREXIT ***
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
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    paddyrg
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    I wouldn't suggest the washing machine unless the dry cleaning really doesn't work. £200 you should be looking at wool, which can stain and shrink where a cheaper jacket may be synthetic and ok.

    Is your line manger sympathetic? Or HR? Maybe they'd consider a contribution? Or you start wearing a boiler suit to meetings ;-)
    • Nicki
    • By Nicki 16th Oct 16, 7:44 PM
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    Nicki
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:44 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:44 PM
    I certainly wouldn't ask the colleague to pay for the jacket. You could though ask either your line manager or HR whether the company will reimburse you for the suit. I'd do this in "I hate to ask, and I'm glad my colleague was OK" way though, and if the answer is no, you'll have to take it on the chin I think or destroy your reputation at work.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 7:46 PM
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    boliston
    I would ask the company as asking the person who had the fit would just be silly as they did not choose to damage the jacket. I had a bike stolen from my workplace (locked company bike shed) and my employer replaced it without question.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 16th Oct 16, 7:49 PM
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    pinkshoes
    I'd start turning up to work with no jacket, and if your boss asks why, explain...

    If it is ruined anyway, look up some "getting rid of blood" hints and bung it in the washing machine!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 16th Oct 16, 8:02 PM
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    Takeaway_Addict
    I would ask the company as asking the person who had the fit would just be silly as they did not choose to damage the jacket. I had a bike stolen from my workplace (locked company bike shed) and my employer replaced it without question.
    Originally posted by boliston
    They could have helped themselves by taking their drugs to help prevent having fits.
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 16th Oct 16, 8:07 PM
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    Andypandyboy
    They could have helped themselves by taking their drugs to help prevent having fits.
    Originally posted by Takeaway_Addict
    Photo sensitive Epilepsy is difficult to control and the triggers vary.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 8:11 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 1,277 Thanks
    boliston
    They could have helped themselves by taking their drugs to help prevent having fits.
    Originally posted by Takeaway_Addict
    The chances of an employee having #200 spare is probably quite low (unless they are a senior executive) compared with an employer offering to help.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 16th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
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    sangie595
    They could have helped themselves by taking their drugs to help prevent having fits.
    Originally posted by Takeaway_Addict
    It is obvious that, by not actually having the meds on them, these are meds that are taken erratically, not regularly. So the person would have no idea they needed them beforehand. Not everyone with epilepsy has a regular drug regime.

    OP doesn't your household/ personal insurance cover such incidents? Mine would.

    Otherwise, you could ask your employer for help, but they aren't obliged to. The same goes for asking the colleague, except that once that news gets around you will have a reputation lower than dirt in the workplace!
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 16th Oct 16, 8:37 PM
    • 4,478 Posts
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    theoretica
    I certainly wouldn't ask the colleague to pay for the jacket. You could though ask either your line manager or HR whether the company will reimburse you for the suit. I'd do this in "I hate to ask, and I'm glad my colleague was OK" way though, and if the answer is no, you'll have to take it on the chin I think or destroy your reputation at work.
    Originally posted by Nicki
    I agree with this - I can't see asking doing any harm so long as done in a straightforward way and 'really appreciate it if you could help' rather than demanding.

    If the marketing department put together something with flashing lights in the 3 to 30 hz range they are probably lucky it was a staff member that was affected. It would be very bad marketing to do that to a member of the public! It is such poor practice to do this without warning that I would not have expected your colleague to speak up before every video is shown.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • basil92
    • By basil92 16th Oct 16, 8:45 PM
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    basil92
    A few years ago, in the middle of winter, whilst cycling to work, I witnessed a very bad accident on a dual carriage way...then an elderly guy knocked down by another car whilst attending the initial accident.

    Others were attending him before I could get there so I kept a respectable distance. They didn't move him and needed coats etc to try and keep him warm. I immediately took off my coat and gave it to them.

    The air ambulance arrived, he was treated and then airlifted hospital.

    I was in shock and after my statement had been taken by the police and also been asked by the ambulance people if I was ok...I set off shakily pushing my bike to my destination...

    I never saw my coat again...it was a gortex mountaineering coat and had cost me £300... which was a huge amount of money to me (still is)..and something I'd saved up for for ages...

    Mattered not a jot to me...I just spent weeks hoping the fella was ok. The police had taken my statement and the driver was going to be prosecuted...I just hoped the guy had survived.

    Months later, a lady tapped me on the shoulder in a local supermarket and said you were there and gave your help and coat to my friend to keep him warm when he was hit by a car. Thank you so much.. .All I said was is he ok? ...and thankfully she said that after a week in hospital he'd recovered well...

    That made my day...the expensive coat I lost was the last thing on my mind.
    If you want somebody you can trust...trust yourself


    Basil - Lovely, a sensitive soul with legs designed for the catwalk
    Originally posted by Chopper98
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 16th Oct 16, 9:14 PM
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    TELLIT01
    Absolutely not the colleague who had the fit. He wasn't responsible for using your jacket as a pillow. Not the first aider who did what was expected of them in attending to the individual and using whatever was to hand for that purpose.
    I would possibly speak to the HR department and ask if the company would at least contribute to the replacement of the suit as the damage occurred at work and was beyond your control.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 17th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    • 3,815 Posts
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    Hermia
    A first aider at my last place of work ended up drenched in blood after a particularly messy first aid incident. The HR department immediately gave her the money for new clothes. Mind you, that was partly because there was no way she could be allowed to travel home on the train looking like an extra from a horror film.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th Oct 16, 7:30 AM
    • 14,311 Posts
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    FBaby
    Agree with Nicki, it's all down to how you go about it. It's not totally unreasonable to ask the organisation, but whether they will feel responsible or feel that you deserve a 'gesture of goodwill' will come down to their organisation culture. I would therefore go about it in a very discreet way to either your boss or HR depending on the relationship, and not mention it to any colleagues. Get a note from Timpsons stating that it couldn't be cleaned and why (after the second attempt, assuming it hasn't been resolved), and explain receipt that the suit was only 3 months old.

    If they say no, say that's ok and move on.
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