Member compensated after suffering fractured ankle at work

A Unite member has received compensation after fracturing his ankle at work. 

The member, who is employed as an HGV driver by Aldi Stores Ltd, was delivering goods to an Aldi store in Leeds. His job involved dropping pallets of produce off and taking them into the stores.

On the day of the accident, he was using an electric pallet truck to unload pallets from the trailer into the stockroom. Manoeuvring the pallet truck was difficult during the unloading process as the stockroom was congested around the loading bay and on the route to the chilled storeroom, with empty pallets and crates that had not been returned on the previous delivery.

While he was manoeuvring around the stacks of pallets he became stuck between the truck and the wall.

He attended Barnsley Hospital where he was sent for x-rays, which confirmed he had suffered a fracture to his left ankle. He was unable to return to work for 10 weeks and continues to suffer aching and swelling in his ankle.

His employers initially denied liability, stating that the accident was caused by contributory negligence.

The member contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation. 

Liability was contested throughout by the employers, who claimed that the member should have been fully aware of the health and safety procedures for his role. 

Unite Legal Services argued that the employers had been negligent – the member had not received adequate training for his role and delivery areas were not clear, which contributed to the accident. In addition, CCTV footage of the incident had not been retained by the employer. 

A final settlement figure of £11,000 was offered, which was accepted. 

The Unite member said: “The help and assistance that was provided to me by Unite Legal Services was invaluable and much appreciated during a very difficult time.” 

Karen Reay, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union, commented:  “Our member’s need to be protected and employers should be making sure that all staff are trained and risk assessments are carried out. This injury could and should have been avoided. Fortunately our member was able to benefit from Unite Legal Services.”