Unite Legal Services secures significant compensation for warehouseman injured at work

Unite Legal Services has secured more than £86,000 in compensation for a warehouseman who was seriously injured in an accident involving a forklift truck at a Tesco distribution centre.

The member, an employee at Tesco’s Purfleet distribution centre, was standing on a pallet truck in an empty loading bay in the Essex warehouse when a colleague suddenly drove a forklift truck into it.

The force of the impact threw the man off the pallet truck to the floor, and as he landed, he struck his left hip hard against another nearby truck.

As a result of the accident, the Unite member suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his back, left hip and left wrist, which doctors have said are likely to affect him for the rest of his life. His injuries were so serious that he was unable to carry out his usual work duties at Tesco and he ended up losing his job. The Unite member now works part-time in a less physically demanding role at a Post Office.

After the accident the member contacted Unite Legal Services to pursue a claim on his behalf.

Tesco admitted liability and following negotiations, Unite Legal Services secured £86,070 for the member.

He said: “The impact certainly took me by surprise; my injuries were extremely painful and now limit many aspects of how I live my life. The accident also had an impact on my career and I lost a job I enjoyed because of my injuries. What is so frustrating is that the situation could have easily been avoided if Tesco had put in place proper safety procedures.”

Peter Kavanagh, regional secretary, said: “Where the safety of staff at work is concerned, there can be no excuses. All employers have a responsibility to provide adequate training for staff using technical equipment, and to make sure there are effective health and safety procedures in place. Tesco has no excuse and in areas where there is a risk of vehicle collisions it is all the more unforgiveable that they didn’t have systems in place.

“We are pleased to have supported our member to secure the compensation he deserved.”