A Unite member has been left with a deep 7cm scar on his forehead after machinery weighing four and a half tonnes fell on him.

The 46-year-old, from Pontnewydd in Wales, was trapped under the huge coal cyclone, a piece of machinery used to remove fine particles of coal, after it fell off the lorry he was helping to load it on.

The coal cyclone has extremely sharp edges and he was fortunate to avoid being cut in half as the heavy machine fell either side of him. Instead he received nasty cuts as well as severe bruising to his forehead, shoulder, elbow and hip.

The cut on his head needed numerous internal and external stitches. He has been left with an unsightly black scar.

The member was working for Morspan Limited at the Penalta Colliery when the accident happened. He was helping to remove machinery from the disused colliery for resale.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted Unite which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation.

Morspan Limited admitted 75 per cent responsibility for the accident and settled the claim for £13,300.

He said he had had a lucky escape in that he wasn’t more seriously injured but he was concerned the accident would cause him problems later in life.

He said: “When the accident first happened my thoughts were how lucky I was to be alive and what might have happened to me. I then thought I was going to be substantially disfigured for life and I worried what that would mean about work in the future. I felt it was important to claim compensation to make sure that if anything did happen I had something put aside for my family.

“The flashbacks and the worry about what could have happened have still not gone. I could very easily have died.

“I would never have been able to make this claim if I hadn’t received help from Unite and Thompsons Solicitors.”

Nasty and Dangerous Accident

Andy Richards from Unite added: “Our member had a lucky escape in what was a nasty and dangerous accident. A thorough risk assessment should have flagged up potential problems with moving this heavy piece of equipment.”

Clare Nash from Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff added: “It is only right that this member’s employers should pay compensation for his injuries. He has been left with serious long term scarring and continues to suffer from the psychological effects of this accident.”