A delivery driver who was never given training in lifting heavy loads by his employers has received more than £3,000 in compensation following a workplace accident.

Karl Liversidge, 42, from Castleford, near Wakefield received the damages after he was off work for six weeks after his boss refused to help him to unload ten 180 kilo fences from a truck.

The GMB member was working for Nicholls Fabrications based in Garforth, Leeds as an HGV driver.

He and four colleagues had loaded the heavy fences on to a flatbed vehicle for delivery at a local park.

When Karl asked his employers how he would unload the fences at the other end he was told there would be two people to help him. His supervisor refused to send a colleague despite the fact it had taken five people to load each fence onto the truck.

Slipped and strained groin

At the delivery location Karl slipped while helping two other men to unload the fences. He strained his groin and was forced to take several weeks off work. He was also unable to undertake his hobby of cycling for over nine months.

Following the accident Karl was offered £2,500 in accident compensation by Nicholls Fabrication. But when he contacted the GMB for a second opinion its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors won a payout of £3,300.

Karl now works for another employer as an HGV driver. On his first day on the job he was given manual handling training.

He said: “At the time I knew the fences were too heavy for just three men to unload but my supervisor had refused to give us assistance. I had had no manual handling training and was not aware of the danger I was putting myself in.

“When I started work at my new employer I was given manual handing training straight away. I’m now fully aware of the correct health and safety procedures I should be following. If I was put in the same situation again I would refuse to carry out the job until more manpower was provided.

“I decided to claim compensation because I felt it was unacceptable that I wasn’t trained in the correct manual handling techniques.”

There are no short cuts to making sure employees are safe in the workplace

Tim Roache from the GMB said: “On this occasion this employer’s attitude to health and safety was appalling. Members who have an element of manual handling in their job must be trained correctly in how to keep themselves and others safe. There are no short cuts to making sure employees are safe in the workplace.”

Stephen Woolford from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This case shows how important it is to take advantage of the free legal services provided by the GMB. We were able to increase the initial offer by one third, which considering Karl had lost wages when he was off work was an important settlement.”