A Kent groundsman has secured compensation after losing a limb in an accident at work. Leading trade union UNISON secured the compensation for member Roger Adams via their free legal help scheme with personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

Mr Adams, from Dartford, Kent, works as a groundsman for North West Kent College. On the day of the accident in October 2003, Mr Adams was using a tractor mower to cut grass on the College outfield when the mower became blocked and in attempting to remove grass cuttings, his left forearm was amputated. The accident was the subject of a Health and Safety Executive investigation and led to the prosecution of Kubota, the manufacturer of the tractor mower.

Compensation for injury, loss of earnings and care and assistance needed

Mr Adams explains: “The pain was excruciating and it was very traumatic. Since the accident, I’ve had to have 11 operations and I’ve now been fitted with a prosthetic arm. At first the College tried to blame me for taking insufficient care but when we started High Court proceedings they settled out of court. I’ve now managed to get on with my life and have returned to work part-time.”

Vicky Easton, Regional Head of Local Government at UNISON said: “We are very pleased with the result of Roger Adams' case. He has shown great fortitude and has returned to work part time. Given the severity of his injuries, his compensation is wholly justified.”

Representing Mr Adams, David Thompson from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Clearly employers need to take full responsibility for their staff and ensure that measures are in place to avoid such injuries. Given the difficulties Roger Adams has coping with the job using one arm and the prosethetic arm, it’s unlikely that he will continue to work until the normal retirement age. The amount secured will therefore compensate Mr Adams for his injury, for his future loss of earnings and for the care and assistance he will need in his day to day life.”