A train driver who needed two operations on his knee after he fell on a slippery train station platform has received compensation after help from his union ASLEF.

The 30-year-old from Oxfordshire fell on snow and ice on the platform at Frome station in January 2009.

The First Great Western driver was walking from one end of the train to the other at 5am when the accident happened. Although parts of the platform had been gritted the gritted area only covered the length of two train carriages and the ASLEF member’s train was longer meaning he had no choice but to cross the icy area.

It was dark and although he was taking extra care he slipped and tore the ligaments and tendons in his left knee.

Operations needed on knee

Initially he was able to continue with his work but a few weeks later he realised the pain was not going to go away and sought medical help.

He has since needed two operations to mend his knee and three years later is still receiving physiotherapy.

During his recovery he was off work for a total of nine months. Additionally he has found it difficult to spend time playing with his two-year-old son due to the difficulties he has kneeling.

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, ASLEF, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Months off work as result of accident

First Great Western admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for a significant sum.

The ASLEF member said: “The accident happened a long time ago but I’m still receiving treatment for my knee. I’ve had to take months off work during a time when I have a young family and I could do without the wage loss. Additionally my restrictions mean I’ve missed out on being as involved in my son’s up bringing as I’d hoped to be.”

“I knew about ASLEF’s free legal service and I hoped that they would be able to resolve this for me. I have been delighted with the service I have received.”

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Whilst the employer made an effort to grit the platform it knew the length of trains that would be using the station and that the drivers would have to walk across the untreated part. The platform was not safe for staff. Our member has needed to take a great deal of time off work as a result of this fall which could have been avoided had a considered approached been taken to keeping the platform clear from ice and snow.”

Rhicha Kapila from Thompsons Solicitors added: “All work surfaces and traffic routes should be kept free from substances that are likely to cause someone to slip or fall. First Great Western knew our client would have no choice to walk the whole length of the train and over the snow and ice but they didn't do anything about making his unavoidable walk safe.”