Accident at work
The 44-year-old, from Farnley in Leeds was left with tissue damage to his wrist, shoulder and neck after he slipped on ice which had built up on the floor of a walk-in freezer at the bakery in Leeds.
Staff had complained to management about the problem, caused by a poor cleaning system inside the freezer, but nothing had been done to fix it.
The accident meant the BFAWU member had to take ten weeks off sick from his job as a team manager for the bakers.
When he returned to work he was put on light duties meaning he could only work for a few hours a day for five months, leaving him with significantly reduced wages.
Thompsons Solicitors claimed compensation
Following the accident he contacted his trade union, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Thompsons argued that the problem of ice developing on the floor should have been addressed as soon as it was highlighted.
The bakery settled the claim out of court for £8,400. Efforts have been made by the bakery to resolve the problem, including replacing the freezer door.
The member said: “For the five months I was on light duties I was on much less pay than I’d usually receive. It meant I was finding it difficult to pay my mortgage and other bills. I decided to contact the union because I felt the accident would never have happened if the door had been replaced earlier.”
Ian Wood from the BFAWU added: “This bakery should have reacted to staff complaints about this freezer straight away. If they had done so our member would not have faced several months of pain and loss of wages. We are pleased to hear that the health and safety problem has now been fixed but it should never have taken an accident like this to make it happen.”
Andrew Gray from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This client was put in considerable financial difficulty by this accident. We have been able to recover damages to allow him to get his affairs back in order and to compensate him from the pain he endured from his injuries.”
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