William Vaughan, 55, from Guisborough could have been killed in the accident at Boulby Mine near Saltburn by Sea.

Although he has recovered from his injuries he was left with post traumatic stress disorder. Now he can no longer work in his trade and is scared to switch on electrical appliances in the home.

The GMB instructed their lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation from Cleveland Potash Limited after William suffered an electric shock in 2005. The claim was settled out of court and the company accepted liability.

William was welding a section of metal flooring when a fault with the equipment saw him suffer an electric shock for 30 seconds before the power was switched off.

He said the accident has had a negative impact on his life.

He said: “I used to be a confident person but my confidence disappeared after the accident. At times I find it difficult to leave the house and I have to get help with the simplest of jobs like switching on the kettle.

“I can’t work as a plater anymore, a trade I have been in since I was 15. I never would have expected to be electrocuted in this way. When working on a job you trust that you are being provided with well maintained equipment.”

He added: “I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen to anyone else. I couldn’t have pursued this claim if it hadn’t been for the support I have received from the GMB and Thompsons Solicitors.”

GMB Regional Officer Jimmy Skivington added: “Mr Vaughan should never have been in a situation where he was using faulty equipment. This accident could easily have been avoided if Cleveland Potash had taken adequate steps to ensure the safety of their equipment.

“We would urge businesses to make sure they are abiding by health and safety regulations by making sure equipment is maintained in an efficient state, is in good working order and is in good repair.”

Andrew McDonald from Thompsons Solicitors’ Middlesbrough office added: “Electrical maintenance is vital in the workplace to ensure highly dangerous accidents like this do not occur. Mr Vaughan could easily have been killed. Fortunately his injuries are not life threatening but the psychological affects of the accident have had dramatic affect on the quality of his life.”