Member compensated for workplace injury

A Unite member has received compensation after a fall at work caused injuries to her knee and hip and accelerated symptoms of a pre-existing osteoarthritic condition.

At the time of the accident, the supermarket worker was going into a stock room and tripped and fell over a pallet of stock left by a colleague behind the door.

The member was checked over by first aid and was taken home to recover. She was off work for three weeks and when she returned she had to work sitting because of pain in her back and left hip.

She continues to suffer from residual pain due to her osteoarthritic condition and has since changed jobs at the company so that she doesn’t have to do manual work which caused her pain.

Since the member’s accident, her employer has put up signs in the area warning employees to avoid obstructing exits. It was only after the accident that she learnt other colleagues had suffered similar accidents.

She contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a compensation claim.

The member said: “The doors were fitted with small windows so you could see if someone was coming through from the other side, but you couldn’t see anything on the floor.

“It makes no sense to me why the problem hadn’t been addressed sooner if I wasn’t the first person to have be injured by obstructions behind the doors. My osteoarthritis is even more painful after the accident, and is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, which I think is really unfair.”

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “The employer had numerous opportunities to put right the obvious hazard, but it neglected to do so. Its failure to maintain basic health and safety standards means that our member’s condition has been exacerbated, leaving her in constant pain.

“Through her Unite membership, she accessed free expert legal support and went on to receive compensation that help her to manage her condition.”