Unite Legal Services secures changes in workplace safety and compensation for airline crew employee

An airline cabin crew employee suffered a back injury while lifting a heavy telemedicine machine from overhead stowage on an aircraft.

The member’s employers had failed to take action on previous complaints about the location of the extremely heavy machine, which is stored well above head height. However, since her accident, new, lighter, machines have been introduced and the storage location has been changed to the front of newer aircrafts.

The Unite member had a significant amount of treatment from her GP and in hospitals, including several spinal injections and physiotherapy, but was still left with ongoing pain after her accident.

Unite Legal Services represented the member in her claim against her employer, who admitted responsibility for her accident. Unite Legal Services secured significant compensation on her behalf, without the need for lengthy Court proceedings. The claim also brought about changes to workplace safety, helping to ensure that further injuries of this kind do not occur.

Kevin Hepworth, Unite East Midlands legal officer, said: “Despite a number of employees lodging their concerns about the heavy machine, the airline failed to acknowledge the health and safety issue and, unfortunately, our member paid the price.

“It’s unbelievable to think that the airline had to enter into a legal battle with an injured member of staff before doing something about its inadequate workplace safety standards. Thankfully, changes to workplace safety have been implemented and our member was awarded significant compensation.”