An ASLEF trade union member who damaged his back in a workplace accident has received £3,175 in compensation after help from Thompsons Solicitors.

The train driver from Cardiff was forced to take six weeks off work after he damaged his back whilst trying to open a faulty roller door to access fuel pumps.

Colleagues at DB Schenker Rail UK Ltd had complained about the door for a number of weeks but nothing was ever done to fix the problem.

On the day of the accident the 47-year-old had twice called the control desk at East Usk Rail Yard to ask for help but was simply told to go to the site and try to open the door on his own.

As he tried to pull up the roller shutter he felt his back twinge and he suffered a strain.

Accident resulted in six weeks off work

The injury meant he had to take six weeks off work and needed to take pain killers. He has been told his injury will heal by May this year.

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

Thompsons argued that the roller doors should have been repaired as soon as the problem was highlighted.

DB Schenker Rail admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

The Aslef member said: “My bosses knew there was a problem with this door but they never fixed it and because no-one was available to help me I ended up injured and had to take the first substantial sickness leave in over 30 years on the railways.

“I hope by claiming compensation that they will take notice of complaints and make sure faulty equipment is fixed quickly.”

Accident could have been avoided

ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said: “Our members need to be confident the equipment they are working with is safe and in good working order – and not a trap to hurt them.

“A simple repair to a door which the employers knew was faulty would have avoided this member unnecessary pain and inconvenience.”

Clare Nash from Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff added: “Our client suffered a painful back injury that whilst it hasn’t yet cleared up is thankfully not going to have lasting consequences but it did mean he had to take considerable time off work. Had it been worse he could have been facing unemployment as a result of his injuries when the problem was well known and the accident entirely avoidable.”