A scaffolder who was left permanently disabled after his leg was badly damaged when a pallet of scaffolding poles collapsed trapping him has received compensation.

Craig Cording, 31, from Droylsden in Manchester was left so seriously injured he can no longer work as a scaffolder and has had to retrain in order to find alternative employment. The accident left him with drop foot which means he has to wear a foot support on a permanent basis.

He cannot feel anything in his right foot, part of his lower right leg and suffers from constant pain.

Mr Cording was injured whilst working as a senior scaffolder for ThyssenKrupp Palmers Limited. He was based onsite at Aberthaw Power Station in Barry.

Leg was crushed and nerves were damaged

On the day of the accident he was moving 21 feet long scaffolding poles in a human chain with his colleagues. He had his back to a stillage or pallet which was holding 10 feet long poles. The pallet, which was unsuitable for the job, collapsed suddenly and around 20 poles fell and trapped him. His right leg was badly crushed and a deep cut caused permanent damage to the nerves.

Surgery failed to repair the damage and he spent months undergoing significant physiotherapy and rehabilitation. But doctors say his condition will never improve and he will be on pain medication for the rest of his life.

Determined to get back into work, Mr Cording retrained as a welder and is now working for a local company.

Following the accident his trade union, Unite the Union, instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Pallet was significantly inferior to the industry standard

Thompsons found the pallet was non-standard and was significantly inferior to the industry standard. It had also been extended to take more material which caused it to fail.

ThyssenKrupp Palmers admitted liability for Mr Cording’s accident and not only settled the claim out of court for a significant sum but also paid for his physiotherapy, rehabilitation and training as a welder.

Mr Cording said: “It has taken me a long time to come to terms with my injuries and I have worked hard to rebuild my life. I cannot ride motocross bikes anymore but I’ve discovered there are a number of sports I can now do with the support for my foot and this has made a huge difference.

“Getting back into work was my priority. I’ve always had a job and I hated being out of work. After retraining it took me a long time to find an employer who was willing to hire me with my disabilities but fortunately I’ve started work in the perfect position with an understanding boss.”

Compensation will provide support for future

Paul Finegan from Unite the Union added: “This pallet was a silent hazard which presented a significant danger to employees who were unaware it was non-standard. Mr Cording has been extremely brave in his recovery and has shown determination in his search for a new career. We are delighted our free legal service has been able to help him gain this compensation.”

Suzanne Humphries from Thompsons Solicitors in Manchester added: “Mr Cording was put in an extremely dangerous situation and ended up suffering from life changing injuries. This compensation will provide support for Craig’s future, help him to buy orthopaedic devices to enable him cope with his disability and allow him to continue to live a full life.”