Leading trade union Amicus has helped a former employee of the Peugeot car plant in Ryton, Coventry, to claim damages following an accident on the 12th of July 2005. Mrs Shirley Gough, 58, a factory worker, broke her wrist after falling heavily on some debris.

Mrs Gough was heading out of the gates of the factory, towards the car park, when she stood on some metal bolts. The company cleaned and tidied the area following the accident, but Mrs Gough decided to take legal action against the company because of its negligence.

"I don't know how the bolts came to be there, but it was clearly very dangerous as I found to my cost," said Mrs Gough. "I took up the matter with my union, Amicus, and they put me in touch with Thompsons Solicitors who handle cases for people who've suffered with injury at work.

"I was subsequently awarded damages for the pain and suffering. As the plant was closing down, Thompsons also helped me to secure compensation for the fact that I would have a future disability which might affect my future prospects for work."

"Mrs Gough took the right action by turning to her union for help, said," said Barry Robinson, Amicus union representative. "We will always support our members who believe their employer has not taken steps to protect them from injury."

Representing Mrs Gough, Tony Mikhael, a personal injury lawyer at Thompsons Solicitors, said: "An employer's responsibility extends beyond the factory doors, and in this instance the company should have taken steps to ensure that pedestrian areas for its employees were safe. On this occasion they did not and Mrs Gough ended up with a broken wrist for which she has now been adequately compensated."