Member receives compensation following workplace accident

A Unite member knocked unconscious when an industrial bin lid fell on his head at work has received compensation with the backing of Unite Legal Services.

The member, who works as a porter for a Dorset hospital, was transferring rubbish from an industrial bin to a compactor machine when the locking mechanism broke and the lid hit his head and arm and knocked him unconscious.

He was taken to the hospital’s accident and emergency department, where he was treated for a head injury and a laceration to his right arm. It was later discovered that he had developed post-concussion syndrome.

As a result of the accident, the porter needed three months off work and suffered from recurring headaches.

He contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a compensation claim.

“We’d had issues in the past with the locking mechanisms failing, and the day of my accident was unusually windy. It was an accident waiting to happen,” he said. “I don’t understand why the locks weren’t replaced or strengthened properly in the first place.”

The worker said his accident had made him grateful to be a member of Unite: “My injury and the injuries of others are very real and often very painful. The support of my union meant that I could move on after this traumatic injury.”

Stuart Davies, south west region legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “While we are pleased to see that our member has largely recovered, he suffered a traumatic injury to his head as a result of his employer failing to deal with a known problem.

“Through his Unite membership, he was able to receive free expert legal advice and 100 per cent of the compensation, whereas many high street firms could take up to 25% of the award.”