A Unite the union member from Solihull has been awarded a seven-figure compensation settlement after a crush injury at work left him comatose and needing a leg amputation.
The member, 33, was working as a signal banksman at a construction site in Bicester when a mistake by a nearby excavator operator caused him to be crushed against a wall.
The driver had signalled the Solihull man to come closer to the vehicle but had failed to engage a safe lock. Seconds later, the driver accidentally hit another switch that caused the ‘boom’ of the excavator – the heavy top of the vehicle’s arm – to fall and crush the member.
The impact was so severe that the man’s pelvis was instantly crushed, while numerous organs were pushed upwards. Medical staff had to place the member in an induced coma for over a fortnight while they repaired his injuries, which included dialysis for kidney damage.
A loss of blood supply to the member’s right leg left medical staff with no choice but to amputate.
The Unite member said: “I spent almost two months in hospital with more injuries that I would dare to count. It was an excruciating period of time for me and my family, both physically and mentally. Even after I finally left hospital, I had to contend with the fact that I would never be the same again. I’ve battled depression for years as a result.”
Due to his injuries, the man has only been able to recently return to work part-time. He remains in considerable pain and struggles with mobility.
Unite Legal Services helped him secure compensation, which included interim payments to allow him to pay for prosthetic rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and counselling.
He continued: “The last six years have been a nightmare, but I have no idea what I would have done if it wasn’t for Unite Legal Services. Their hard work meant I could pay for a complete rehabilitation package that has helped restore some normality to my life. For that alone, I am extremely grateful.”
Unite Regional Officer, Tim Parker, added: “I cannot begin to imagine the trauma our member faced as a result of an accident that could have, and should have, been avoided. One mistake by the driver has left our member with life-changing physical and psychological injuries he will likely never recover from.
“Basic health and safety is not something to be taken for granted. Safety systems are there for a reason and, when they’re not taken seriously, the consequences can be dire – as this case shows.”