A council worker who broke both his feet after falling from an unsecured ladder has won compensation from Pembrokeshire County Council. With the assistance of his union, UNISON, and Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff, Mr Michael Morgan, 61, of Dyfed, secured damages of £45,000 following the injury which left him unable to work.

Mr Morgan was employed as a mason with Pembrokeshire County Council. On the 21st February 2003, he was installing windows in a council property when one side of the ladder he was standing on sank into the ground causing him to fall from a height of 12 feet.

Mr Morgan suffered serious injuries to the heel bones in both his feet. As well as being in plaster for 10 weeks, Mr Morgan had to use a wheelchair for six months, then crutches and eventually a stick. He was in a lot of pain and even now, four years after the accident, his feet are painful all the time, especially in cold weather.

Working at Heights

Regional UNISON secretary, Paul O’Shea, said: “Working at heights can be extremely dangerous and employers must make adequate provision for staff working in such circumstances. Mr Morgan’s injuries meant that he had to be medically retired from work. This accident would not have occurred if he had been provided with the right equipment or assistance.”

Petra Williams, Mr Morgan’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff, said: "Mr Morgan was experienced at his job but had to put the ladder up himself. None of his colleagues were available to hold the ladder whilst he was on it and no equipment was available to him to secure the ladder to the house he was working on."

Commenting, Mr Morgan said: “As well as suffering pain and the loss of my employment, the accident has caused me all sorts of difficulties. What used to be everyday tasks like driving the car or walking the dog have become very difficult. I’m gradually regaining the ability to do certain things. I’m grateful to the union and to Thompsons because the compensation goes some way towards helping me out on the financial side.”

This story was also published by The Western Telegraph.