A Manchester man has secured six-figure compensation after a workplace crush injury left him in chronic pain and unable to work.

The 62-year-old Unite member was employed as a mechanical fitter by a recycling firm and was injured when a one-tonne steel plate he was fitting fell on him. He was working in a confined area at the time that was too small for the task at hand, and the forklift truck provided to prop up the steel plate was inadequate.

The Unite member was resuscitated at the scene and taken to a hospital, where he stayed for several weeks. He sustained significant fractures to his pelvis, as well as a cracked sternum and ribs, fluid on his left lung, a groin hernia and serious urological conditions, as well as psychological trauma.

“I warned my manager how dangerous doing that in such a small space was, but he bullied us into it,” the grandfather-of-three said. “Because of this, I’m no longer able to work. My life has been turned upside down.”

More than three years after the accident, the man remains under the care of a specialist NHS team and will need additional surgery, including two in the next few months. He ended up losing his job because of his injuries, and he will never be able to work again.

“I’m constantly in pain and sitting makes it worse,” he said. “I will have mobility issues for the rest of my life, so trying to keep up with my three young grandchildren will be tough.”

"With Thompsons Solicitors, we secured enough to cover the cost of the new property and his domestic care needs, but if his employer had paid more attention to simple health and safety needs none of this would have been necessary."

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary, Unite the Union

He turned to Unite Legal Services and contacted Thompsons Solicitors to make an accident at work compensation claim.

“It was a relief knowing my Unite membership not only allowed me to keep 100 per cent of the compensation but also access to a completely free legal service.

“Thompsons was fantastic. Their expertise shone through. I was informed every step of the way and even put in touch with specialists who could advise about my pension.”

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, added: “This employer’s disregard for its employee’s safety concerns had catastrophic consequences and is a stark reminder of why maintaining high health and safety standards at work is so important.

“Our member will never work again and has had to move into an adapted house to meet his mobility needs. With Thompsons Solicitors, we secured enough to cover the cost of the new property and his domestic care needs, but if his employer had paid more attention to simple health and safety needs none of this would have been necessary.”