Unite secures £300,000 payout for crane operator who suffered serious arm injuries in workplace incident

Unite Legal Services helped secure £300,000 in compensation for a father-of-two from North Tyneside, who faced a “distressing ordeal” after suffering severe injuries when he was struck by a crane.

Stephen Waterson, 56, from North Shields, was de-rigging a 300-tonne crane for Mammoet (UK) at its Redcar site on in September 2021 when the head of the crane hit his right elbow.

Following the incident, Stephen was taken to The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he was treated for multiple fractures to his right elbow and nerve damage. He underwent surgery during which three metal plates were inserted into his arm.

Initially, he was informed that there was a risk of amputation if he did not show positive progress in his recovery.

He was forced off work for seven months and has since changed jobs.

The extent of Stephen’s injuries meant he was unable to perform basic tasks at home. Two years on, his restricted arm movements mean he can't participate in much-loved hobbies, such as parachuting, swimming and going to the gym.

As a result of the incident, our member also experiences tingling sensations, and medical staff have warned that he may require elbow replacement surgery in the future. He has been left with considerable scarring on his arm and has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Stephen’s solicitors argued that his employer had failed to ensure a suitable risk assessment had been carried out to identify the serious risk of injury to employees regarding the removal of the crane head.

Unite Legal Services helped Stephen secure £300,000 compensation. As a member of Unite, he kept 100 per cent of his payout.

Stephen said: “It’s been an incredibly distressing ordeal for me to have to go through. I used to be very independent, but I now rely heavily on those around me.

“Due to the incident, I still experience some physical pain and suffer from sleepless nights. I’ve had to teach myself to be left-handed to counteract the limitations I have with my right arm.

“It’s frustrating knowing that this was an entirely avoidable incident. I just hope no one else has to go through what I experienced and that lessons have been learned.

“I’ve been given magnificent legal advice and support by Unite. My solicitor fought long and hard to secure a good settlement, and his passion and empathy shone through. I can’t thank him enough.”