A bakery worker who was pinned against a safety rail by an 80 kilo stack of bread has received almost £4,000 in compensation for his injuries.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) member was left with soft tissue injuries to his lower back and severe bruising to his thigh following the accident at a bakery in Stockton in December 2009.

His injuries will take more than 18 months to heal and he still suffers from pain when on his feet for too long.

The accident happened while he working on the depot computer getting trolleys of bread ready for delivery. He had his back turned to the ramp when a colleague sent a trolley stacked with bread down towards him at speed.

He heard the noise and turned but couldn’t avoid being hit and pinned against a safety rail.

It transpired that there was no system in place to stop trolleys from coming down the ramp if an employee was not ready to receive them.

He needed to take six days off work and then returned to light duties for a number of months. He is now working in his normal job but must take regular breaks due to his back.

Pursue a claim for accident compensation

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

The bakery admitted liability and Thompson was successful in securing an out of court settlement.

The member said: “I’m always watching my back now at work when I’m getting bread ready for delivery and outside work I have to be careful too. I really worry that this accident will happen again and this time my injuries could be worse. I can’t afford to have time off and what I really want is for my employers to do something to solve this problem.”

Joe Marino from the BFAWU said: “This employer failed to implement basic health and safety rules and the work practice wasn’t a safe one. Partly because, thankfully, he wasn’t too badly hurt and partly because he couldn’t afford to be away from work our member wasn’t off for long but he has been left with the longer term injury effects of an accident that could easily have been avoided.”

Jane Gulliford from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This was no laughing matter for our client who due to a failure by the employer to take simple health and safety steps suffered a painful injury and was forced to go on light duties for a number of months.”