Fall from ladder sees Unite member secure £14,000 compensation

A Unite member has received more than £14,000 compensation after he fell 10 foot from a ladder and suffered long term damage to his knee.

The member has been left with ongoing pain in his left knee after the ladder he was using slipped out from under him.

He suffered damage to his kneecap and tendons, which means he can no longer undertake his second job as a handyman or take part in his hobbies of Salsa dancing and bowling.

Working as a loader, he and a colleague were using the ladder to access the top of a 12 foot concrete slab. They had placed the ladder on the flatbed of a pick-up truck because there was no room for a cherry-picked crane.

The member’s colleague held the bottom of the ladder as he climbed but the colleague slipped on water and leaves, which had accumulated on the truck bed. As a result, the ladder slipped and he fell.

After the accident he contacted his Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim on his behalf.

Investigations found that the pair had not been provided with training on the safest way to use the ladder. Liability was admitted and the claim was settled out of court for more than £14,000.

The member said: “My knee is in agony but I've struggled on at work because I'm determined to keep earning a living. Unfortunately I've had to give up the DIY work I was also doing in my spare time as I just could not cope any more. I hope that highlighting my case will get employers to pay more attention to training employees in safe ladder usage.”

Donna Williams, from Unite the Union, said: “Falls from height are one of the greatest causes of workplace deaths. With some planning and assessment of the risks as well as adequate staff training these accidents could be avoided.

"This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are at hand to act for members and their families.”