Plymouth member compensated after injuring shoulder at work

HGV driver Mike has secured £27,500 in compensation with the help of Unite Legal Services, after suffering a painful injury to his right shoulder when he slipped on ice at work.

The 52-year-old, who is a Unite representative, tore his rotator cuff in the fall – an injury so severe that he was unable to work for six months. Despite this, Mike’s manager refused to treat his injury at the scene and so Mike had to drive to hospital himself, in agony.

After eventually returning to work Mike had to have surgery, meaning he needed six more months off to recover. He still suffers pain in his arm and shoulder.

The Unite member said: “There were quite a few people managing to get back and forth across the yard during the day, despite the danger, but at no point did management decide to address it. There was a grit bin and a spreader at the yard, but my employer didn’t make sure it was used. It’s frustrating that a failure to carry out such a small job meant I ended up with years of pain.”

Unite Legal Services supported Mike with a claim for compensation, helping him secure £27,500.

Mike continued: “The one positive is that my employer is now taking this issue more seriously. There’s a gritting log in the office, which means that oversights like this shouldn’t happen again.

“The hard work of Unite Legal Services meant that my employer not only had to face up to financial consequences, but also had to face up to its failures.”

Stuart Davies, Regional Legal Officer from Unite the union, added: “Everyone has the right to work in a safe and healthy place. Unfortunately, Mike’s employer did not take the risk of ice seriously enough on this occasion, despite the obvious hazard it creates. A bit of foresight could have avoided Mike’s whole ordeal.

“Mike has represented Unite in his workplace for some time. He shares our vision and passion for improving working conditions in the UK so that employees are not put in unnecessary danger, and I’m sure this has only been strengthened by his personal experience.

“We will continue to stand with our members to ensure they get the help and support they need.”