Settlement secured for member assaulted at work

A Dorset office manager has received a £5,000 settlement with the support of Unite Legal Services after he was assaulted at work.

The Unite member suffered a jarring injury to his knee and pain in his back after he was elbowed by a male colleague, knocking him into a nearby stillage.

Following the assault, his knee was injured for two weeks and pain in his back disrupted his sleep. Physiotherapy has reduced, but not eliminated, his back pain.

Prior to the incident he had reported other instances of threatening behaviour from the colleague to his managers but his warnings were ignored.

“Without Unite Legal Services I would have been at a loss,” he said. “They fought my case throughout and supported me when I had no one else to turn to.

“I don’t understand why my employer didn’t take my comments seriously to begin with. I’ll never really understand why I was targeted, but I wish something had been done before it escalated.”

Stuart Davies, south west region legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Employers have a duty to protect all staff from potential threats and hazards, whether that be accidents or injury caused by another worker. This issue could have been nipped in the bud early with minimal hassle, when the threatening behaviour was first reported. Instead, it was allowed to build up, and an employee ended up injured.

“We’re pleased that physiotherapy has been able to relieve some of our member’s back pain; however this was an avoidable injury and employers should be in no doubt that Unite will hold them to account where concerns of our members are not taken seriously and subsequently result in an injury.”