A polish GMB member who suffered a knee injury after a fall at work has received £12,000 in compensation.

Arkadiusz Chmiel who lives in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, but who is originally from Poland, twisted his knee after slipping on dangerous flooring whilst working for Timbet Door Solutions in the town.

The cleaner was moving a 30 kilo wooden sawbuck when he suddenly slipped on the paint-treated floor, falling to the ground. His knee was injured as he twisted to avoid the heavy equipment falling on top of him.

He was left walking on crutches and was unable to work for several weeks. He needed physiotherapy and still suffers from intermittent pain in the knee.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation. The GMB also put him in touch with a Polish-speaking organiser, Dominika Tyszkowska, who was able to act as a translator for Mr Chmiel throughout the legal process.

Investigations by Thompsons revealed that the floor Mr Chmiel was working on had been painted with regular paint. It should have been treated with a specialist anti-slip paint to avoid accidents like this from happening.

Timbet Door Solutions admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Mr Chmiel, who had worked for Timbet for two years before the accident, said: “After the accident I lost a lot of wages because the pain in my knee was so bad I couldn’t work. I was uncertain what my rights were and decided to contact the GMB for help. They put me straight in touch with Thompsons Solicitors and provided me with help from Dominika who could explain the process in Polish.

“Without the GMB and Thompsons’ help I’m not sure what I would have done. I certainly would never have been able to navigate the claims process on my own.”

Unable to work because of accident

Andy Worth, regional secretary at the GMB said: “This member was left unable to work because of an accident which could have been avoided had his employers taken care to apply anti-slip paint to the workplace floor. Language should not be a barrier to claiming compensation and we were more than happy to provide Mr Chmiel with translation help and legal support in the aftermath of this accident.”

Bernadine Bell from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Painting a workplace floor with regular paint is an accident waiting to happen. The paint would have made the floor dangerously slippery and it’s not surprising that someone ended up suffering a bad fall. We are pleased we have been able to support Mr Chmiel in his claim and it has been a pleasure to work with Dominika who has provided us with language support.”