A bakery worker who was forced to give up his job after falling from a ladder has received a substantial sum in compensation.

Jeffery Phillips, 59, from Clowne in Chesterfield needed a hip replacement after falling 14ft onto a concrete floor after the ladder he was using to clean machinery slipped.

Mr Phillips, who worked as a cleaner for 11 years for Gunstones Bakery in Dronfield Sheffield, has now been forced to retire due to ill health.

The accident happened in August 2006 as the bakery was preparing for a visit by one of its customers. The bakery makes a range a bread-based products for supermarket chains.

Mr Phillips had been asked to clean the top of a machine called a ‘divider’. He used a ladder to reach the top but it slipped.

Broken hip and elbow

Mr Phillips landed on the floor, breaking his hip, which required a hip replacement. He also fractured his elbow. He still suffers from pins and needles in his fingers.

Following the accident Mr Phillips contacted his union, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Gunstones Bakery admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Mr Phillips said: “I can remember the day of the accident well. I’ll never forget it because it changed my life completely. I’ve now had a hip replacement and can no longer work. I decided to pursue compensation because I wanted the company to take full responsibility for the accident. I had never been trained in using ladders and I wanted to make sure the correct training was provided to my colleagues in the future.”

Ronnie Draper National President and Safety Officer at the BFAWU said: “Falls from heights are the number one cause of workplace deaths. With a little more planning and assessment of the risks, understanding of the limitations of ladders, proper maintenance and checking that users are competent, these accidents could be avoided.”

Nicola Shepherdson from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Simple and cheap measures could have avoided this accident, like giving Mr Philips the appropriate training. Employers have a responsibility to ensure users are competent in the safe use of ladders.”