A UNISON member has been awarded £15,000 in damages after breaking his arm in a fall at work

32-year-old surveyor Daniel Duce was visiting a school in Guiseley, near Leeds, to assess building repairs when the accident happened. As he was walking along the roof of the school, he lost his footing and fell through a skylight, landing on the concrete corridor 10 feet below. 

He was taken to hospital where he needed an operation to repair a broken right arm and physiotherapy to repair nerve damage. He also suffered bruising and cuts to his lower back and hip. 

The member needed four months off work before he was eventually able to return on lighter duties. Three and a half years on, he still continues to suffer from occasional discomfort in his arm. 

Daniel’s employer, NPS North East Limited, failed to inform him of regulations stating no one should walk within two metres of a skylight. Despite this, the windows were only separated by half a metre, meaning he had no choice but to walk near them. 

Following his accident, he contacted UNISON and instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a compensation claim. 

Mr Duce said: “I still feel occasional pain in my arm, but it’s nothing compared to the agony I felt when I hit the floor - had I landed differently my injuries could have been even more serious. My employer didn’t provide me with proper equipment so I could complete the job safely. 

“The support of my union and Thompsons has been invaluable and meant I wasn’t at a financial loss for my time out of work.” 

Catherine Horner, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Our close relationship with UNISON means we can fight for the interests of members when they bear the consequences of having an employer who ignores basic health and safety. Despite Daniel’s employer stubbornly failing to face up to its responsibilities by consistently denying they were at fault for his injuries, we persevered and are pleased that Daniel was able to secure the maximum level of damages he was entitled to.”