bin man, who seriously injured his shoulder while collecting rubbish for recycling, has received £57,000 in accident compensation.

UNISON member Alan Shambrook tripped on a raised paving slab in July 2005, while working for Stevenage Borough Council.

The 55-year-old, who lives with his wife in Stevenage, was collecting the recycling boxes in Archer Road, when he fell badly on his left knee, shoulder and elbow.

He had to have two operations on his shoulder, take 15 months off work and has been left unable to do a number of activities, including heavy lifting and swimming.

Mr Shambrook has since had to take a lesser-paid job driving a road sweeper due to his disabilities.

Injury was extremely painful

The grandfather was awarded compensation from Hertfordshire County Council at Luton Crown Court.

He said: “I am pleased to have been awarded compensation, but the injury has been extremely painful and has changed my life dramatically.

“After the accident I had keyhole surgery, but this did not work, so I had to have painful open surgery.

“My wife has been left to lift her disabled mother on her own, I am unable to take my grandson to our regular swimming sessions and I have had to give up golf.

“I also had to stop my recycling duties and take a lesser-paid job driving a road sweeper, which has hit me financially.”

Accident could so easily have been prevented

UNISON’s Regional Secretary in the South East region, Phil Wood, said:“It is only right that Mr Shambrook received compensation for the pain that he has suffered.

“This accident could so easily have been prevented.

“Sadly, he will continue to suffer as he is unable to do things he took for granted before, like playing with his grandson.

“And he has been forced to take a job that pays him less.”

The council failed to maintain and repair the pavement

Rachel Bayliss, from Thompsons Solicitors, said:“Hertfordshire County Council has a responsibility to ensure its pavement and highways are in good order.

“The council failed to maintain and repair this pavement and, as a result, Mr Shambrook suffered a nasty fall.

“It had a huge impact on his life and, most dramatically, on his employment opportunities.”