While working as a ramp agent at Heathrow Airport, a Unite member suffered a devastating leg injury after being hit by a pushback tug.
The member was following correct procedure after the unloading of the aircraft had been completed and the tug detached. As he was walking off the runway he was struck by the tug, which was being driven by an employee of the airline.
He was trapped under the tug and suffered an extreme crush injury to his right leg, as well as a fracture to his left ankle and cuts to his knees and head. Despite a gruelling 10 hours of surgery, his right leg was unable to be saved and had to be amputated above the knee.
Life changed completely for the Unite member after his accident. He underwent several further surgeries and a great deal of physiotherapy before eventually being able to walk short distances using an artificial leg and crutches.
His family initially contacted Unite Legal Services for advice. The airline admitted responsibility for the accident and it was convicted by the Central Criminal Court for breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and subsequently fined.
Unite Legal Services supported its member’s claim throughout the lengthy legal proceedings and secured significant compensation. While his future has been changed forever, the compensation he received will enable him to have access to the support and assistance he needs.
Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary, said: “Any accident that results in an amputation is undoubtedly life-changing. In this case, our member’s injury means he may never be able to work again.
“Thankfully the airline responsible for his accident was fined and convicted, and the compensation guarantees that our member’s immediate and long-term care needs will always be met following his accident.
“By pursuing his claim with Unite Legal Services our member received 100% of his compensation with no deductions.”