Unite Legal Services has secured £75,000 for a Leicestershire lorry driver who suffered a crush injury to his foot.
Steven was unloading a pallet of oil barrels weighing more than a tonne with a pump truck. The pallet became stuck on other goods in the lorry and he had to forcefully pull it out. As he did this, the pallet rolled over and crushed his right foot. There were no colleagues nearby so he had to free his foot by himself.
The 55-year-old suffered soft tissue and bone damage that needed surgery. He may also need further surgery as he was already suffering an unrelated issue with his right foot, which was made worse by this injury.
Steven needed nine months off work and continues to suffer pain in his foot; he turned to Unite Legal Services for support to make a compensation claim.
He said: “I’d told my manager before the incident that the pallets were often too heavy and they were an accident waiting to happen. Instead of taking this on board, my manager just told me to get on with my job, without giving a moment’s notice to the potential risks.
“I hoped that my foot problems would be a thing of the past after spending years recovering, but this accident has just aggravated it, and the thought that I may need more surgery is frustrating.
“It was such a relief to have Unite Legal Services on my side. Without them, I wouldn’t have had a clue how to start my claim.”
Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Steven’s employer had failed to comply with health and safety regulations and had disregarded his initial concerns.
“As a Unite member, Steven had free access to our legal services. When his case was settled for £75,000 he got the amount in full – meaning he didn’t need to pay success fees and was not subject to any hidden costs. If he had gone to a ‘No Win No Fee’ firm he would be at least £15,000 worse off now. All Unite members unfairly injured in the workplace enjoy this same level of support.”