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Unite member compensated for work accident crush injury

A Unite member who worked at a car manufacturer in Castle Bromwich has been awarded almost £12,000 compensation after he suffered a crush injury and lacerations to his left leg in an accident at work.

Terence Deen, 61, was placing information on a work notice board when a heavy duty wheel that had been left unattended rolled towards him and hit his left foot and ankle.

The wheel, which is used for large trailers, should have been stored in a stillage to stop it from moving, but had just been left standing against a wall.

The force of the huge wheel hitting Terence damaged the muscles and skin on his left leg. He needed nearly six weeks off work before he was able to return to light duties, and may get ulceration of the skin in later life.

He contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a compensation claim on his behalf.

Terence said: “Doctors told me that I was lucky to not break my leg, which really took me by surprise. Common sense suggests that heavy wheels that can roll around should be put away in safe storage not left lying around. It was an accident waiting to happen.

“I had to move to a less manual role for a while after the accident because of the pain in my leg, and I do worry about how my mobility will be in the long-term, especially as I’m approaching retirement. I’m a keen gardener and enjoy working around the home, but my leg injury has limited what I can do.

“I shouldn’t have ever suffered an accident like this, but I’m glad that I had the backing of my trade union to make sure I was fairly represented. They fought my corner to make sure my employer accepted responsibility for what had happened.”

Tim Parker, Unite regional officer said: “This very successful conclusion to Terence’s personal injury case underlines the vital importance and value of the impressive legal services and support that Unite provides to our members on a daily basis.

“Our local Unite health and safety representatives quickly followed up the initial accident with the company and ensured that safer working practices were introduced immediately to stop any future reoccurrence.

“However, it’s still shocking that it took a serious injury to happen before the company took the very basic step of ensuring that immensely heavy, large trailer wheels were safely stored. Our health and safety representatives will continue to monitor the area to ensure that the proper health and safety procedures are strictly adhered to in the future.”