Three businesses have paid compensation to a Yorkshire insulation engineer who broke his ankle on an uneven surface on a building site.

John Prior was off work for 19 weeks as a result of the accident at the National Grid on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

He was working for Haycock and Hague (Pipework) Ltd, who were subcontractors to TGE Tracetebel GMBH a German company which was laying new pipework for a gas importation facility for National Grid.

John, 61, from Kirkstall near Leeds was at the site in September 2005 to discuss the planning and installation of the new pipes but broke his right ankle when he stepped down from a concrete plinth onto uneven ground below.

Site hadn't been made safe and wrong surfacing had been laid

The site hadn’t been made safe for the planned building works and the wrong kind of surfacing had been laid.

John’s ankle was in plaster for eight weeks and he still suffers from weakness in his ankle. Following the accident he contacted his union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Following a lengthy argument between the three companies to decide who was responsible for the accident they eventually agreed to share the cost of the £13,000 settlement. None of the companies admitted liability and it has taken four years for him to receive compensation.

John said: “I lost out on a lot of wages as a result of the accident. I was also on crutches while helping my daughter look at wedding venues in Italy. I decided to claim compensation because the accident wasn’t my fault. I wanted someone to take responsibility - none of the companies have admitted being the perpetrator.”

Construction sites can be dangerous places to work

Tim Roache from the GMB said: “Construction sites can be dangerous places to work and those responsible must make sure accidents are averted by implementing enforceable and firm safety practices. Where a GMB member suffers an accident at work that was not their fault we will provide free legal services to help them claim compensation.”

Jane Gulliford from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It is mandatory that contractors and sub contractors establish safe strategies for their work. In this case the wrong type of surfacing had been laid to prepare the building site, but none of the three companies involved would admit responsibility. As a result it has taken Mr Prior four years to receive compensation for an accident that was not his fault.”