Michelin Tyre PLC has been sued for £2,500 compensation after an employee from Staffordshire fractured his finger. The compensation was secured with the support of leading trade union Unite and their personal injury specialists, Thompsons Solicitors.

Gary Hughes was working as a shunter at the firm’s site in Campbell Road, Stoke on Trent. As part of his normal duties, he had to operate various mechanical vehicles including a Prime Mover which he had to climb in and out of to operate the hydraulic lifts. On the day of his accident, he tried to alight from the vehicle, but slipped off and fell forwards, landing heavily on the floor and fracturing his finger.

Mr Hughes explains: “The floor was regularly contaminated with oil and diesel spillages. Over time the soles of my safety boots got covered in oil and became really slippery and dangerous. Also, I never received any appropriate training on how to use this specific type of vehicle. Luckily I was able to put my hand out to break my fall; if not, my injuries would have been even worse.”

Trip, slip or fall

Regional Secretary for Unite, Peter Grocott, comments: “We’re pleased that Mr Hughes was able to secure compensation through legal assistance provided by Unite. However, for employers, the claim serves as a reminder of the importance of training staff properly to use the work equipment that they are given as part of their job and why they must ensure that floors in the workplace should be kept free from substances that could cause their employees to trip, slip or fall.”

Representing Mr Hughes, Martyn Gwyther from Thompsons Solicitors in Stoke on Trent, comments: “It’s easy to see that a fall from height, even a relatively low height such as this one, can lead to very serious consequences. The law is there to protect employees like Gary Hughes, and it is the employer’s duty to ensure that they remove potential slipping hazards from the workplace.”