Unite Legal Services helps member secure compensation after fall from ladder19 December 2012
Fell 10ft from a ladder
The 54-year-old has been left with ongoing pain in his left knee after the ladder he was using slipped out from under him.
He suffered damage to his kneecap and tendons which means he can no longer undertake his second job as a handyman or take part in his hobbies of Salsa dancing and bowling.
Working as a loader for Tarmac Precast Concrete in Taunton he and a colleague were using the ladder to access the top of a 12ft concrete slab. They had placed the ladder on the flatbed of a pick up truck because there was no room for a cherrypicker crane.
Ladder slipped and he fell
The Unite member’s colleague held the bottom of the ladder as he climbed but the colleague slipped on water and leaves which had accumulated on the truck bed. As a result the ladder slipped and he fell.
After the accident he contacted his trade union Unite.
Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to act on his behalf.
Investigations found that the pair had not been provided with training on the safest way to use the ladder.
Tarmac admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for more than £14,000.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure users are competent in the safe use of ladders
The member said: "My knee is agony but I've struggled on at work because I'm determined to keep earning a living. Unfortunately I've had to give up the DIY work I was also doing in my spare time as I just could not cope any more. I hope that highlighting my case will get employers to pay more attention to training employees in safe ladder usage."
Donna Williams from Unite the Union added: "Falls from height are one of the greatest causes of workplace deaths. With some planning and assessment of the risks as well as adequate staff training these accidents could be avoided.
"This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are at hand to act for members and their families.”
Shona Wiseman from Thompson Solicitors said: “Employers have a responsibility to ensure users are competent in the safe use of ladders. Appropriate basic training would have cost virtually nothing here”.
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