Unite member compensated after work accident

Unite Legal Services has secured compensation for a member who suffered a number of injuries after tripping over pipe work. 

John, 62, injured his neck, back and Achilles tendon after he tripped over pipe work at a pumping station and fell into a floor sump. 

Before starting work, the Unite member set up temporary lighting to increase visibility because the existing lights at the site were broken. John faced further difficulty as the floor was covered in two inches of water that he could not drain, as the sump pump was also faulty. 

Other workers were aware of the issues as they accessed the site before John, but didn’t take any action to clear the pipework. 

Following the accident, John had two weeks off work and eight sessions of physiotherapy. He returned to his job but couldn’t be in confined spaces or lift – both crucial requirements of his role – so soon after he returned, he was made redundant. 

He said: “At 62, and with reduced movement, it was really hard to find work, so I have had to retire. I have recovered to the point where if I don’t do anything relatively strenuous I’m okay, but I’m not going to do anything that would risk the pain flaring up again. 

“My plan was to continue working for a few more years but the accident has seriously limited me.” 

The member got in touch with Unite Legal Services, who helped investigate a claim for compensation on his behalf. 

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “This case highlights the importance of health and safety regulations. John sustained painful injuries in this accident that have changed his life. He has had to give up work sooner than he had hoped or expected because of what happened. 

“We are glad that his union membership gave him access to free legal support and that he has been able to keep every penny of the compensation he received. This will help support his pension, which he has had to rely on sooner than expected.”