A rigger who lost his job and career when he became disabled in a workplace accident caused by inadequate lighting has received compensation from his former employers after help from Unite the Union.

The Unite member from Cleveland was sacked from his job after being left in constant pain following the accident while working for Amec Plc at West Burton Power Station.

The 45-year-old turned and badly dislocated his left ankle in October 2009 when he was walking between large electrical elements in poor lighting during a night shift at the power station. His foot was in plaster for three weeks and he received physiotherapy but complications means he now suffers from chronic pain syndrome.

He takes painkillers daily and needs a stick to walk. He cannot manage stairs and can only drive short distances. Medical experts say he will never return to manual labour.

Instructed Thompsons Solicitors to claim compensation.

Following the accident Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Thompsons argued that Amec should have provided more lighting so its employees could work safely at night.

Amec admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for a six figure sum.

The Unite member said: "It's a real relief that my claim has finally been settled. I've been unable to work since my accident and it has been a huge strain worrying about my financial future.

"I am inconstant agony with my ankle and I know I'll never work as a rigger again. Manual labour is all I've known and I'm in too much pain to consider retraining."

This was an accident waiting to happen

Karen Reay, Unite the Union regional secretary said: "Our member has lost his job and his career and has been left with a disabling injury which has affected every part of his life all because Amec failed to provide adequate lighting so this job could be done safely.

"This was an accident waiting to happen and an experienced employer like Amec should have known much better than to allow these health and safety failures to happen."

“This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are at hand to act for members and their families.”

Jane Gulliford from Thompsons Solicitors added: "This member’s injury may have looked in the first instant like a straight forward fracture to the ankle but complications mean he will never recover from his injuries and will be disabled and in pain the rest of his life. His life and ability to work have been turned upside down by his employers inability to give health and safety the regard it needs in the workplace."