A nuclear plant surveyor who suffered a trapped nerve following a workplace accident has received a substantial sum in compensation after help from her trade union.

The 54-year-old has been forced to go on restricted duties and has missed out on a promotion after slipping on liquid while working at Sellafield in Whitehaven.

The experienced health physics monitor was surveying a room in the nuclear processing plant when she lost her footing on liquid which had been spilt on the floor.

She saved herself from falling to the floor by hanging onto a metal gantry but in doing so trapped a nerve in her back.

Back injury required extensive physiotherapy

She was forced to take more than 10 weeks off work as a result of her injuries which needed extensive physiotherapy.

The GMB member, who had no previous history of back pain has been told her condition is permanent. It has left her unable to fulfil all of her duties at work. Crucially she missed out on a promotion because she cannot put on protective equipment needed in that more senior role.

Following the accident she contacted her union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons argued that Sellafield should have taken more care to ensure walkways were kept hazard-free.

The member said: “This accident has meant I have missed out on a significant promotion and I now have to work on restricted duties. I worry about my future employability as I’m less mobile and unable to lift meaning I am restricted in the type of job I can do in the future.

“This accident has also left me unable to enjoy my hobby of fell walking, not to mention the difficulties my injuries cause me in keeping the home and in general everyday life.”

Back pain is now permanent

Steve Gibbons from the GMB added: “This member’s accident has meant she has not only missed out on an important promotion at work but has the added fear that she may not be employable in the jobs market should she be made redundant in the future. The compensation is for both her pain and suffering as well as for the affect on her earning capabilities.”

David Burn from Thompsons Solicitors said: “A simple process to clean up spills would have prevented our client from suffering this injury. Her back problems are disabling and she will have to live with the pain the rest of her life and the level of compensation reflects that as well as her lost promotion.”