HGV driver Mike tore his rotator cuff after slipping on ice
An HGV driver from Plymouth who tore his rotator cuff when he slipped on ice at work has secured a £27,500 settlement.
Mike Ford, a 52-year-old Unite the union representative, was walking to an office on-site at work when he slipped on ice and landed on his right elbow. Despite being in intense pain, Mike’s manager refused to give him first-aid treatment, so he drove himself to hospital where he was told he had torn the rotator cuff of his right shoulder.
"The hard work of Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors meant that my employer not only had to face up to financial consequences but also had to face up to its failures."
He was in such pain from his injury that it took six months to return, and even when he returned, he couldn’t drive vehicles or lift heavy items. Mike later needed surgery, having six months off to recuperate.
Mike initially returned to driving vans, and could eventually drive smaller HGVs. He continues to suffer occasional pain.
“There were quite a few people managing to get back and forth across the yard during the day, despite the danger, but at no point did management decide to address it,” he said. “There was a grit bin
and a spreader at the yard, but my employer didn’t make sure it was used. It’s frustrating that a failure to carry out such a small job meant I ended up with years of pain.”
Mike turned to Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim. The company admitted liability and Mike secured £27,500 in compensation.
“The one positive is that my employer is now taking this issue more seriously,” he said. “There’s a gritting log in the office, which means that oversights like this shouldn’t happen again.
“The hard work of Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors meant that my employer not only had to face up to financial consequences but also had to face up to its failures.”
Stuart Davies, Regional Legal Officer from Unite the union, said: “Everyone has the right to work in a safe and healthy place. Unfortunately, Mike’s employer did not take the risk of ice seriously enough on this occasion, despite the obvious hazard it creates. A bit of foresight could have avoided Mike’s whole ordeal.
“Mike has represented Unite in his workplace for some time. He shares our vision and passion for improving working conditions in the UK so that employees are not put in unnecessary danger, and I’m sure this has only been strengthened by his personal experience.
“We will continue to stand with our members to ensure they get the help and support they need.”
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