Unite Legal Services has secured £17,500 for a machine operator who was injured while working for a paper manufacturer.
He was loading paper bales into cargo netting with a forklift at the time of the accident. He spotted a section of the netting was tangled and, due to lack of space, had to walk over it. In doing so he lost his footing, tripped and hit his head, knocking him out.
He said: “When I came to, I had no idea where I was. I was surrounded by medical staff all trying to make sure I was ok – it was really worrying. After the initial shock of the accident I started to feel the pain in my ribs, which was excruciating.”
The Unite member was taken to hospital by paramedics. Doctors told him he had suffered a head injury and two rib fractures, and he needed a month off work for his fractures to heal.
He has recovered from the physical injuries but suffers ringing in his ears because of the damage to his head. Unite Legal Services represented him throughout his compensation claim.
“The pain was so bad it even made breathing difficult, to the point that I couldn’t do anything when I was off work,” he continued. “The ringing in my ears also affected my sleep and, while it’s improved, it’s still there. The whole ordeal has been really frustrating.
“Unite Legal Services was great. It challenged my employer and secured compensation for me. There’s no way I would have been able to do that on my own, and their help was invaluable.”
Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Head injuries can have serious and life-changing implications. While our member’s rib injuries are thankfully resolved, his head injury has resulted in potentially permanent damage to his hearing.
“Being knocked unconscious is a scary and frightening experience that no one should have to suffer, especially when they are simply trying to get on with their work. His employer should have given him more room to do his job safely – had that been the case, he may never have tripped and wouldn’t have been left with the painful injuries he suffered, and continues to suffer from.”