A college lecturer who damaged his shoulder after slipping on a wheelchair ramp has received a substantial sum in compensation.

Warren Spour, 36, from South Shields suffered from injuries to his wrist and shoulder when he fell on the ramp while entering a temporary classroom at South Tyneside College’s Hebburn campus.

Mr Spour taught motor vehicle body repair at the college and was on his way to see a colleague in the woodwork department when he fell in October 2006.

Wooden ramp which was wet following rain

The temporary classroom was fitted with a wooden access ramp, which was wet following rain.

Mr Spour’s wrist made a full recovery from the accident but he has received intensive physiotherapy on his shoulder for the past three years and still suffers from pain.

He contacted the University and College Union (UCU) following his accident which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

The college admitted liability and settled out of court.

Shoulder still hurts during the cold weather

Mr Spour said: “My shoulder still hurts during the cold weather and it is arthritic. I am concerned that when I’m older it will only get worse.

“I decided to get in touch with the UCU as I was worried about the health and safety risks the ramp obviously caused. I wanted to make sure no-one else suffered an accident like mine.”

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, added: “This accident brings home the need for decent buildings in our colleges and adds a sense of urgency to the need for the government to sort out the current mess regarding delayed funding for college building projects. In the meantime, employers must do all they can to make sure the current buildings are made safe.”

Jill Moore from Thompsons Solicitors' South Shields office added: “This accident highlighted a dangerous health and safety issue for those visiting the college. It could have been avoided if the ramp had been covered in an anti-slip material. The college has a responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone using its facilities.”

This news story was also published by the Sheilds Gazette.