Member compensated after suffering hernia in work accident

A Unite member from Tadley, Hampshire, has been awarded £12,000 compensation after suffering a hernia as a result of a work accident. 

Peter Warwick, a 64-year-old former DHL driver, strained his groin trying to move an unusually heavy pallet as part of a delivery to the Waterlooville TK Maxx store. His hernia was so bad he needed surgery to remove it. 

It later turned out that the pallet comprised of heavy glass sheets weighing over two tonnes, which Peter was never warned about. 

The member turned to Unite Legal Services for legal guidance with a compensation claim.

Peter said: “Unite Legal Services fought for my rights all the way. I was offered a lower settlement amount at one point by my old employer, and I thought it was the best I would get and said I was happy to take it. But the legal team was certain I deserved more and went above and beyond to ensure I was fairly compensated. I can’t praise them enough.” 

Sarah Carpenter, south east regional secretary at Unite the union, added: “Peter’s injury could have been easily avoided. Having two tonnes of weight on a single pallet is dangerous in itself, but if it had been clearly labelled he would have known the risks and could have asked colleagues to share the load. 

“Fortunately, his Unite membership gave him access to expert legal guidance free of charge, which ensured DHL was held responsible for its elementary health and safety failings.”