A bakery delivery driver who damaged his back in a workplace accident has received £6,000 in compensation after help from his trade union.

The Bakers, Food, Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) member was forced to take almost a year off work as a result of the accident at Peter Cathedral Bakers in Durham in May 2007.

The 43-year-old was pushing a stack of 20 baskets of savoury pastries to his delivery van when it was suddenly jolted by the rough edges on the concrete floor. The action caused him to seriously jar his back leaving him with severe lower back pain and discomfort.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted his union which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation. 

Thompsons argued that Peter Cathedral Bakers should have provided a wheeled trolley to stack the baskets to allow them to be moved more easily, something which employees had requested in the past.

The firm admitted partial liability and settled the claim out of court. 

The member, who has since returned to work, said: “Hurting my back meant I had to take almost a year off work resulting in reduced pay. I knew my union provided free legal services and decided to find out what they could do to help. The compensation makes up for the time I lost from work. “

Alan Milne from the BFAWU said: “Employees had already complained about the lack of wheels to help them move baskets but nothing had been done to solve the problem. It should never have taken our member suffering an injury for this firm to act over this health and safety concern.”

Jane Guilliford from Thompsons Solicitors added: “A risk assessment would have highlighted the need to provide a set of wheels to move the baskets more easily. By having some common sense and awareness that this job could have been done in a much more efficient and safe manner would have prevented this member from suffering an injury.”