Engineer compensated after fall through unstable roof11 December 2011
Fell through roof at work
A Unite the Union member who has been left permanently disabled after he seriously damaged his arm when he fell through a roof at work has received more than £164,000 in compensation.
The 66-year-old from Shrewsbury was installing CCTV cameras at Lime Street train station in Liverpool as part of his role as a commissioning engineer with Siemens.
To complete the job he needed to access a junction box on the station’s roof. He was given permission by Network Rail to access it via a shop within the station but as he stepped on the shop’s internal roof it collapsed. He landed four feet below on top of a fridge and smashed the ball of his right shoulder in three places.
No appropriate working at height training
The roof was only an aluminium frame and there were no warning signs. Additionally the engineer hadn’t been given appropriate working at height training by Siemens.
He needed emergency surgery on his shoulder and has been left with permanent disabilities. He has restricted movement in his arm and is in constant pain.
Following the accident he had to sleep upright for 16 months due to the pain. He finds many every day tasks difficult and cannot open cupboards at eye height or ride a bike.
Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation
Unite instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation. Thompsons argued that had the accident been avoided the member would have worked until he was 70.
Siemens admitted liability but blamed Network Rail for the accident. At a joint settlement hearing both firms agreed to settle the claim for over £164,000.
The father of three said: “I had always intended on working well beyond the normal retirement age. I have a mortgage and needed to work to keep a roof over my head.
“My injuries mean I can no longer work and I have real difficulties doing the things I used to take for granted. This compensation will help me to pay for adaptations in the home, like a walk-in shower, as well as make up for the wages I have lost as a result of no longer being able to work.”
Hard working man forced to take medical retirement
Mick Stevens from Unite added: “This member was let down by both his employer and Network Rail. He should have been given the correct training by his employer to make it safe for him to work at height and Network Rail should have advised him that the roof was unstable. A combination of poor communication and sheer negligence has led to a hard working man being forced to take medical retirement.”
Richard Cartwright from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Our client had no reason to expect that this roof was fragile. There were no warning signs and he hadn’t been advised of any problems. He was allowed to walk into a very dangerous situation.
“The level of damages reflects how serious his injuries are and the fact that he would have likely worked until he was 70 had this accident been prevented.”
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