Finger slit open by a piece of broken glass
London Underground has paid substantial compensation to a Tube driver after it ignored complaints about dirty, hazardous train carriages.
Derek Walters from Watford in Hertfordshire is facing surgery on his hand after his finger was slit open by a piece of broken glass left in the driver’s cab.
Aslef member Mr Walters, 45, thought the cut would heal, but after two weeks he went to hospital where he discovered the glass had cut through a nerve in the little finger of his right hand.
He has long term damage to the finger and needs an operation to reattach the nerve. The injury means he has problems when playing sport including golf and cricket.
Union had already complained about the standard of cleanliness in the drivers' cabs
The accident happened after Mr Walters’ union Aslef had complained about the standard of cleanliness in the drivers' cabs. Their concerns were ignored by bosses at London Underground Limited.
Just a few weeks later Mr Walters was injured. He got in touch with his union Aslef which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.
London Underground denied liability throughout the claim but settled it out of court just eight days before it was due to go to trial.
Mr Walters said: “What may seem like a silly accident has had a real affect on my life. I have been in and out of hospital visiting consultants to find out exactly what is wrong with my finger. I am now due to have surgery on it to reattach the nerve. It means I will have to take three weeks off work.
“What is even more frustrating is we had complained about the state of the driver’s cabs and nothing was done. I just hope by claiming compensation that they will finally do something to solve this problem.”
Employers must provide their employees with a safe working environment
ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said the union is campaigning across the country to improve cab conditions.
He said: “Train driving is a highly responsible job and to stay alert we need at least standards that are the norm in a modern car, like air conditioning and properly designed seats. It is ludicrous that drivers with responsibility for million-pound trains endure conditions you wouldn’t tolerate in an old car.”
Kam Singh from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Employers must provide their employees with a safe working environment. London Underground failed to provide Mr Walters with a clean place of work which led to a severe injury to his finger which has had a substantial effect on his life. We hope London Underground will now take their employees’ concerns seriously and will endeavour to achieve a high standard of cleanliness in their drivers' cabs.”
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