Explosion at work causes physical and psychological trauma to Unite member

Terry secured a five-figure compensation pay out with the support of Unite Legal Services after an explosion at work caused him to suffer burns and psychological trauma.

The 57-year-old was rushed to hospital after a fire in a dust silo caused an explosion as he was trying to dowse the flames. The burst of flames was so hot it melted the helmet on his head.

For two weeks after the accident, Terry’s ex-wife, a nurse, visited him daily to help him apply burn cream. He needed six months off work due to the severity of his injuries.

Terry said: “Smoke was already billowing out of the silo when I was asked to put out the fire, so I have no idea how long it had been going on for. I was left in a dangerous situation.”

He has since suffered depression and has had psychological treatment.

He added: “The last four years have been so tough for me and my family. I had to travel to Bristol every week to see a counsellor so I could try to cope.

“Thanks to Unite Legal Services, I was vindicated of what happened to me.”

Stuart Davies, Unite regional legal officer in the South West, said: “I cannot imagine how frightening this incident must have been for Terry and his family. The fire had been allowed to develop to a point that it was a danger to those nearby, and Terry was the unfortunate person caught in the blast. If he wasn’t wearing his fire helmet, who knows how severe the burns could have been.

“We’re pleased that Terry has been able to use his settlement to help move on with his life, but this should be a lesson to other employers regarding the importance of safeguarding your workforce.”