A Unite the Union member who ruptured his Achilles tendon in a workplace accident has received compensation after help from the union’s legal services.

Kenan Mason, 49, from Barnstaple is still suffering from the affects of the accident two and a half years later.

Mr Mason, got his foot caught in the plate covering the hydraulic pipes and air lines of a car transporter in January 2010 whilst he was loading cars onto the vehicle at Southampton Docks in his job for STVA UK.

He was crossing to the other side of the car transporter when he suddenly fell. The gangway plate had gaps at either side and should have been flush against the transporter’s trailer.

He immediately felt immense pain in his left foot and leg. He attempted to continue to work but the pain was so bad he had to go to hospital.

Accident caused ruptured Achilles tendon

He was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon and needed to take 16 weeks off work. He was in plaster for five weeks and then had to undergo intensive physiotherapy. He suffered muscle wastage in his left leg and developed a limp.

In May 2011 his leg began to worsen and he needed another seven weeks off work and further physiotherapy.

He has since returned to his job but must pace himself to ensure his leg doesn’t get too painful. He still walks with a limp but hopes his leg will gradually improve in the future.

Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to act on Mr Mason’s behalf.

STVA admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for £19,000

Accident should never have been allowed to happen

Mr Mason said: “The recovery process has been extremely long and I have to accept that though it is slowly improving, and I’m determined to make sure it doesn’t hold me back, my leg will never be 100% again. I am lucky that my employer has been understanding and I’m able to pace myself to get the job done but I do worry about my future employment if I ever lose this job.”

Heathcliffe Pettifer from Unite the Union said: “Mr Mason is coping with his injuries extremely well but this accident should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. Simple checks would have avoided this tripping hazard.”

Sarah Dowell from Thompsons Solicitors added: “With many years to go until retirement Mr Mason’s future employability is restricted due to this accident. The level of damages reflects this vulnerability as well as the tremendous pain and suffering he has endured over an extended recovery period, his wage loss and his continued disability.”