A radiographer who broke her ankle in a workplace accident has received £3,000 in compensation after help from her trade union.

Kathryn Knight, 23, from Whitby in North Yorkshire was off work for four weeks following the accident at Bradford Royal Infirmary in May 2008.

She was pulling an image intensifier screen, used by radiographers in theatre, along a corridor when the wheels hit her left ankle causing it to break.

Kathryn had not received manual handling training at Bradford Royal Infirmary and as a result had never been trained on how to move the heavy screens properly, which should have been pushed, not pulled.

She has now fully recovered from the accident but had to spend weeks in plaster and was unable to take part in her hobbies horse riding and running.

She said: “As a new employee I hadn’t been shown how to move the screens and as a result tried to move them in the way I thought was most sensible. I now know that these screens should be pushed to avoid injury. I feel I have had to learn the hard way when really I should have been provided with adequate training to avoid me going through what has been a particularly painful injury.”

Pursue a claim for compensation

Following the accident she contacted the Society of Radiographers which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Warren Town, the Society's director of industrial relations, said: “Our organisation works to ensure that radiographers are able to work in a safe environment. We have officers dedicated to making sure that health and safety protocols are being followed in the workplace. It is unacceptable that this member sustained a broken ankle because she wasn’t shown how to use this piece of equipment properly.”

Phil Kyte from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This young radiographer was left to rely on her own instincts in using this piece of equipment because she was provided with no training. A few seconds instruction would have saved this client a lot of pain and time. We hope that the NHS Trust changes its procedures to ensure staff are provided with the appropriate training.”

This news story was also published by Telegraph & Argus, Esk Valley Today and The Whitby Gazette.