A former factory worker has received a substantial settlement after an accident at work forced him into early retirement.

The Unite member was walking past a milling machine in a factory in Deeside, north Wales when he tripped over a box that had been hidden out of sight. As he tried to regain his balance, he slipped on a patch of oil and fell onto the concrete floor, twisting his right knee.

The milling machine had been undergoing repairs the day before his accident, but the tools were not removed from the area and oil was left to leak from the machine onto the floor.

The accident accelerated the effects of a pre-existing arthritic condition and the member was unable to work for almost a month. Although he did return to work for two years, the ongoing pain from the accident meant that physical labour was excruciating and as a result he was forced to retire early.

The member reported the accident to his manager and the business then began cleaning its workspaces more frequently.

He contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a compensation claim.

The member said: “It wouldn’t have taken much effort for my colleagues to clear up after the day shift, but they didn’t and as a result I’m now in constant pain.

“I used to enjoy gardening and doing DIY around the house, but now my arthritis is so bad that I struggle to even move. I had worked with the milling machine for years; I knew what I doing and enjoyed doing it but that's all been taken away from me.

“The pain isn’t going to get any better, but my compensation means that I can at least find ways to manage it as time goes on.”

A spokesperson from Unite Legal Services said: “While it is good to see that the employer has improved health and safety processes since the accident it's a shame it took our member being left in constant pain for that to happen. A person shouldn’t have to suffer injury before a business actually upholds its basic responsibilities of providing a safe environment to work.

“The abandoned box and spilt oil effectively set up a trap that our member had little chance of avoiding.”