Amputee wins 1.3 million yuan after work accident

A worker will receive nearly 1.3 million yuan from a power company and a hotel after he was electrocuted while painting the hotel wall and had his arm amputated.

A worker who lost part of his right arm after being electrocuted while painting a hotel won compensation of nearly 1.3 million yuan (US$191,727) from the power company and the hotel involved, the Pudong New Area People's Court said on Tuesday.

According to the court, in 2015, the owner of a hotel in the Pudong New Area asked the man, surnamed Qi, and another worker, surnamed Xu, to paint a wall of the hotel with tools provided and promised each of them 400 yuan in payment. 

On November 3, while Qi was using a metal pole to paint the wall, he was electrocuted and then sent to hospital.

Qi's right arm, torso and right leg were injured in the incident, which caused him to lose his arm from the elbow down. 

Investigation showed that the cables around the site were bare electric wires of 10,000 volt power lines. After the case, the electric power company insulated the wires in December 2015.

During the hearing, the plaintiff said it was the high voltage electric shock that led to the amputation of his arm. There were dense naked wires at the site without noticeable warning signs. He said he was not familiar with the areas of hidden danger and was never informed.

However, the power company claimed that the wires they placed around the site all met national standards and there were ample warning signs.

The hotel said that it had warned Qi of the risks and told him to be careful, as well as giving him ropes and bamboo poles for safety, but Qi decided to use a metal pole instead of the bamboo one provided. They argued that the power company was also at fault for installing naked wires and bringing danger to the surroundings. The hotel refused to pay more because they thought they had fulfilled their duty by paying more than 366,000 yuan in medical fees for Qi.

The court said Qi, the electric power company and the hotel were all responsible. For Qi, he thought the insulated bamboo pole was too soft and changed it to a metal one, so he also had fault. Meanwhile, the hotel failed to dispatch people to the scene for supervision and guidance and didn't give Qi enough warning about the dangers.

It was ruled that the power company should compensate Qi nearly 730,000 yuan and the hotel should pay him more than 546,000 yuan.

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