Unite member unable to work again after workplace crush injury

A Unite member has secured a six-figure settlement after a one-tonne steel plate fell on him and left him in chronic pain and unable to work again.

The member from Manchester was working as a mechanical fitter when a steel plate fell on him. The area he was working in was too small for the job and the forklift truck to prop up the plate was inadequate.

After being resuscitated at the accident, the 62-year-old stayed in hospital for several weeks. He suffered psychological trauma in addition to significant pelvis fractures, a cracked sternum and ribs, a groin hernia, serious urological conditions and fluid on his left lung.

The Unite member said: “I warned my manager of how dangerous doing that in such a small space was, but he bullied us into it. Because of this, I’m no longer able to work. My life has been turned upside down.”

More than three years after the accident, he remains under the care of a specialist NHS team and will never be able to work again.

The Unite member added: “I’m constantly in pain and sitting makes it worse. I will have mobility issues for the rest of my life, so trying to keep up with my three young grandchildren will be tough.”

He turned to Unite Legal Services to make an accident at work compensation claim. He said: “It was a relief knowing my Unite membership not only allowed me to keep 100 per cent of the compensation but also gave me access to a completely free legal service.

“I was informed at every step of the way and was even put in touch with specialists who could advise me about my pension.”

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, added: “This employer’s disregard for its employee’s safety concerns had catastrophic consequences and is a stark reminder of why maintaining high health and safety standards at work is so important.

“Our member will never work again and has had to move into an adapted house to meet his mobility needs. The cost of the new property and his domestic care needs were covered as part of his settlement, but if his employer had paid more attention to simple health and safety needs, none of this would have been necessary.”