An RMT member who was forced to take nine weeks off work after he fell through an uncovered manhole has received compensation after help from his trade union.

The 54-year-old, from Chapeltown in Sheffield drives HGV lorries for DHL. Having paid to park his vehicle overnight in Moto’s Chievely Service station bear Newbury he fell down the manhole in the car park when he was checking his vehicle early the next day.

He suffered an injury to his shoulder meaning he couldn’t drive for nine weeks and had to take time off work.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

He contacted his union for legal help after reading about his union backing members with injuries in and out of work in the RMT’s journal.

The RMT instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors which was successful in settling the claim for £3,000.

The member said: “I shudder to think what the long term consequences of this could have been. It wasn’t as if they didn’t know I was there – I had paid to stay overnight - and drivers were bound to get in and out of their cabs in the dark. What I had read in the RMT journal about other members being helped was true - the union helped me out when I needed them.

“I’m relieved that I’ve now been able to return to driving. At one point I feared that I would have to give up my job but fortunately I have been able to carry on with only intermittent pain.”

Owners of site had a duty to ensure the car park was safe for all users

Bob Crow from the RMT said: “This accident sounds like something out of slapstick but could have had very serious long term consequences for our member. He should never have been put in such a dangerous situation in the first place. Fortunately he has been able to recover from his injuries and return to work.”

Karina Marriott from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Moto exposed our client to a trap when they failed to ensure that workmen replaced the manhole covers after they had finished their job. They had a duty to ensure the car park was safe for all users and they failed in that duty.”