The 54 year old Unite the Union member was called to an area of the factory where containers of molten steel were moved short distances along miniature rail tracks in order to right a container which had derailed in January 2010.

Working with colleagues, four jacks - each weighing around 400kg - were placed under the container to raise it back onto its rungs, but one of them wasn't properly fastened and slipped from under the loaded container and struck the man, fracturing his lower leg.

He was admitted to hospital where he underwent 18 hours of surgery to save his leg. He subsequently had more treatment in the form of a bone graft.

The member was unable to work for a year after the accident and has since been seconded into a different, less physically demanding position within the company.

The injured man said: “My colleagues and I nicknamed the containers ‘torpedoes’ – I’d never have guessed how accurate a name that would turn out to be.

Leg at risk of being lost

“I am lucky that I received medical attention so quickly, because this could have ended with my leg being amputated. It has severely affected my life and I can no longer do things that I enjoyed like playing golf and riding my motorbike.”

The employee got in touch with his union and Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim on his behalf.

Andy Richards, Wales Regional Secretary at Unite the Union said: “There were steps that could and should have been taken by Tata Steel to prevent this accident. And, what is more, a series of similar, but thankfully less serious, accidents before this one were ignored by Tata Steel which meant their workers’ lives were being put at risk.

“We thank Thompsons Solicitors for their help in bringing this case to a favourable resolution and hope that it will help spur Tata Steel and others who think they can ignore warning signs to take health and safety much more seriously.”