A Honda employee left unable to work after he seriously damaged his knees in a workplace accident has received damages from his former employer.

Patrick Scanlon, 47, from Penhill, Swindon had warned his bosses at the Honda factory in Swindon that a raised grate on the factory floor was an accident waiting to happen but nothing was done to fix it.

Weeks later, he himself tripped on the grate landing heavily on his knees.

He sustained significant nerve damage to both knees which now need replacement surgery.
He also suffered scrapes to his hands and jaw.

Too unwell to return to work after accident

Mr Scanlon, who worked for Honda for eight years, and before that was a shop fitter, hasn't been able to return to work since the accident and in the end lost his job. He is too unwell to return to manual work. He also can no longer take part in his hobbies including fishing and golf.

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Medical experts for Thompsons found the accident had brought forward osteoarthritic problems with Mr Scanlon's knees by five to ten years.

Honda admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Employer did not act on report of dangerous grid

Mr Scanlon, who has three children and a grandson, said: "This accident has destroyed my life. I feel angry that I had warned my bosses about this grate and in the end it was me who ended up out of work because of it.

"I've always been in work since I left school and it is soul destroying that I'm no longer fit enough to earn a living."

Jim D'Avila regional coordinating officer at Unite said: "It's only right Mr Scanlon is compensated for Honda's huge failure in health and safety. It's unforgivable that this grate had been reported to the employers but the warnings were ignored. Had it been repaired quickly Mr Scanlon would be in work today."

Paul Rosser From Thompsons Solicitors added: " Slips and trips happen across the country everyday. What seem like trivial workplace accidents can have far reaching consequences. All it often takes, as here with Mr Scanlon, is for employers to listen to their employees and act on, rather than ignore faults reported."