Inadequate flooring causes member to suffer serious knee injury

Unite Legal Services has secured £30,000 in damages after a member slipped at an industrial lubricant manufacturer.

Russell Scragg, from Leek in Staffordshire, slipped on a step at a manufacturing plant where he had worked in a skilled role as a blender for 10 years. The floor had not been treated with anti-slip covering despite the nature of the factory’s work.

The Unite member hit his left knee as he fell, causing pre-existing osteoarthritis to worsen in both knees 10 years early.

Russell suffers pain in both knees, which swell if he stands for long periods of time. He has been moved off his job as a blender and is instead working in the packing department, which has meant a pay cut.

Following the accident he contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation.

Russell said: “I had always had some slight problems with my left knee but after the accident both my knees caused me significant problems. I was having to take time off work because I could barely walk at times.  

“If I hadn’t suffered this accident doctors have said that my osteoarthritis wouldn’t have worsened for another 10 years. Enduring pain and earning less for 10 years is a long time when you are working towards your retirement.”

Neil Slater, from Unite the Union, said: “This factory specialises in making lubricants and it’s not unreasonable to expect that its floors would be covered with anti-slip flooring. As a result of failing to avoid the most basic of hazards, Russell has been moved from a highly skilled, well paid job, to a lesser role with a reduced wage packet.”