Gary Clark was working at Liverpool Central Station when he was tasked to move a large draining pump, a machine used to prevent flooding on train tracks. Gary placed the draining pump onto the only trolley made available to him but there was no way of securing it so it was left loose.

The lighting in the station was poor and while pushing the unsuitable trolley one of the wheels got caught in a pothole that he was unable to see, which caused it to topple over. As he attempted to upright the trolley, the pump fell off and landed on his right foot.

The Unite member suffered severe bruising and swelling. Gary’s injury was so significant that he could not walk and he was off work for nearly four months.

As a result of his injury, Gary needed 12 months of physiotherapy and was unable to enjoy his hobbies of football and running.

A member of Unite the Union for 15 years, Gary contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation on his behalf.

Gary said: “I was in agony and couldn’t walk properly for 10 weeks. I had to give up playing football for a year, which was really frustrating as my injury not only affected my ability to work but also affected what I could and couldn’t enjoy in my personal life. After my employer found out that I had sought legal advice for what had happened to me I was made to feel very unwelcome, so much so that I felt forced to find another job in the industry.”

Mick Whitley, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “The depot Gary was working in was badly lit, had uneven flooring and potholes everywhere, add to that an unsuitable trolley with no way of securing items in place and this was an accident waiting to happen.

“Fortunately, Gary’s employer admitted liability for the accident but it’s a shame that he was made to feel so uncomfortable that he looked for a new job. Had his employer taken the proper steps to ensure a safe place of work in the first place, it would not have been forced to pay compensation and lose a valuable member of its team.”