Harbour worker compensated for serious injury

A member of Unite the union has been awarded £200,000 in compensation after suffering a serious injury at work.

He was sat in a crane while another employee on the ground was directing him to move a large bag of water, using the arm of the crane. As he was doing this, the crane tipped towards the nearby harbour and the member jumped eight feet from the cab of the crane to the concrete below, to avoid falling into the harbour and potentially drowning.

“The accident was utterly terrifying,” he said. “I went into the crane’s cab assuming it was completely safe and all I would be doing was a basic test. Instead, I was forced to choose between jumping onto the concrete floor or falling into the water – both of which were unthinkable.”

Our member has not returned to work since the accident. He suffered a serious leg injury that needed surgery and he continues to suffer swelling and pain in the leg.

His colleague had told our member that an alarm would sound if the crane’s arm extended past eight metres – the maximum safe length it can extend. Despite this, the crane lost balance before that, at 7.6 metres.

He turned to Unite Legal Services for further support and said: “I can’t walk long distances anymore and I’ve come to realise that I’ll always have pain and swelling in my leg, which is a huge burden on my day-to-day life. Neither my employer, nor the employer of the person instructing me on the ground, wanted to accept that they were at fault for my accident, so having the full backing of Unite Legal Services was vital and means what I have been through wasn’t ignored.”

Stuart Davies, Regional Legal Officer from Unite the union, said: “Poor health and safety put our member in a dangerous predicament that could have been even more serious, if not for his quick thinking. The health and safety improvements implemented as a result of our member’s injury will benefit all workers at the site, but this injury could have and should have been avoided.

“As a member, he had access to specialist serious injury solicitors through Unite Legal Services to ensure he received 100 per cent of the compensation, with no deductions, the level of compensation reflected the seriousness of the injuries sustained.”