Unite Legal Services aid rail freight worker injured by railway sleeper19 August 2013
Injured during a night shift at work
51-year-old Stephen Adams who worked for the rail freight operating company, D B Schenker Rail UK Limited, was walking a rail route in the early hours of the morning in October 2010 when he tripped on a railway sleeper that had been left on the walkway. He fell heavily to the ground jarring his right shoulder which required decompression surgery. The impact of the fall resulted in a full thickness tear of the tendon in his shoulder and cracked his collar bone.
Railway sleeper caused a dangerous obstruction
Instead of being placed in the storage area of the site, the railway sleeper had been left on the walkway causing a dangerous obstruction.
Stephen was unable to work for two weeks following his injury and could only undertake light duties for several months while he awaited surgery on his shoulder. He spent the next six months on sick leave recovering from the procedure, living on a reduced salary during that time.
Stephen, who had been a member of Unite the Union for over six years, contacted Unite Legal Services who were able to secure a significant level of compensation on his behalf.
He said: “The outcome of my accident wasn’t just the physical pain and discomfort I suffered to my shoulder, but also the pressure it put on my family while I was unable to work. My wife had to take on the more physical tasks around the house that I would usually do.
“Since my accident, my employer has been more vigilant about safety procedures but it’s too late for me. I’ve been left with permanent damage to my shoulder thanks to a situation that could so very easily have been avoided.”
Safety procedures had been neglected
Mick Whitley from Unite the Union added: “A safe means of access to a workplace is basic health and safety. In this case safety procedures had been neglected. There is no room for complacency when it comes to the wellbeing of staff, the employers duty of care is mandatory, not arbitrary.
“Accidents in the workplace such as this not only highlight the physical and permanent impact they have on the individual concerned, but the knock on effect it can have on other members of their family.
“We are grateful to the team at Thompsons Solicitors for supporting our member in this settlement.”
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