Employer who failed to fix reported hazard pays compensation

A Unite member who suffered a soft tissue injury to her wrist when she tripped over a metal plate that should have been screwed to the floor has secured compensation for her injury.

The woman was walking through the factory of a Lincolnshire food manufacturer when her foot caught on the raised metal plate and she fell over onto the concrete floor.

The metal plate should have been screwed into the ground, but it had become loose and was raised by approximately three centimetres. It was later revealed that another member of staff had already reported the issue but the employer failed to fix the problem.

In the fall she suffered a soft tissue injury to her left wrist. As a result, she visited her local hospital and ended up having nine weeks off work before returning on light duties for three months.

She contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a compensation claim.

The member said: “My injury meant that I struggled with my job and the pain in my wrist would worsen when the weather was cold. I couldn’t do my job at all for nine weeks, it seemed like a long time.

“I’m grateful for the support of Unite Legal Services as I would not have been able to take on my employer on my own. Doing something about the hazard when it was first reported would have avoided me being in pain for so long.”

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Instead of taking a few minutes to screw the plate back securely into the floor, the employer ignored the complaint and left a tripping hazard there for someone to injure themselves. Unfortunately, that ‘someone’ was our member, who was forced out of work over a prolonged period of time because of her employer’s lack of a proper system.

“As a member of Unite she was able to access free legal support, meaning that her employer was, thankfully, held accountable for its failings.”