Somerset Unite member speaks out after serious crush injury at work

Chris turned to Unite Legal Services for support after a workplace crush injury forced him into early retirement.

Multi-skilled engineer Chris was moving heavy machinery onto a loading platform, which collapsed under the weight. As a result, one of the discs that that machinery was sat on slipped and crushed his left foot.

He said: “My foot was trapped for a matter of seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. I was lucky to not lose a foot in this accident.

“I was only able to get my foot out once my colleague had jacked the machine back up. The quick thinking of my colleague saved me from even more life-changing injury.”

Chris was treated for significant injuries to his foot and hip at hospital. He suffers from arthritis below his waist, and he had to take early retirement.

The Unite member of almost 50 years turned to Unite Legal Services and secured £60,000 compensation.

“Without Unite’s help, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to even start this claim, let alone have been able to afford the pain management treatment that it enabled me to have and that has made my day-to-day life more bearable,” Chris added.

“It was only when I involved Unite Legal Services that my employer accepted blame for having failed to risk assess the job and failed to provide the practical support that would have significantly lowered the chance of this accident happening at all,” he said.

Stuart Davies, Unite regional legal officer in the South West, said: “Chris may have been a highly-trained engineer but that doesn’t make him a specialist in manual handling. Contractors with the correct training and equipment should have been employed to move this vast piece of machinery but instead, the employers tried to cut corners and put Chris and his colleagues in serious danger, for which he paid the price.”