A former welder from Manchester has received over £500,000 in compensation after an accident at work left him with a severe facial fracture and ended his career.

At the time of his accident, the 49-year-old was working for the Hulme Group repairing commercial vehicles. He was attempting to join two pieces of steel together when the hydraulic jack he was using to hold the metal in place gave way and struck him in the face.

The force of the impact to the Unite the Union member’s face shattered his left eye socket and severed the nerves in his left cheek.

Series of invasive operations

Since his accident he has undergone five operations to rebuild his eye socket. He has also had spinal cord stimulation surgery and very risky deep brain stimulation surgery in an attempt to control the pain in his face.

The damage to his face means that he cannot leave home without wearing a bespoke prosthetic mask to protect the left side of his face from the elements.

The operations to control the pain caused by his injuries failed.

A lifetime of pain

The Unite the Union member said: “I will be in pain for the rest of my life. I don’t do anything like I used to. My family life has been ruined - I can’t leave my house without a prosthetic mask to help protect my face.

“They never established exactly what was wrong with the jack but the fact is that it wasn’t safe work equipment. I was a healthy and active man before my accident, and in a split second my freedom and independence were taken away from me.”

After his accident he contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to make a claim on his behalf.

Mick Whitley, Unite the Union Regional Secretary, said: “This case shows how important it is for employers to provide safe work equipment and a safe system of work. The Hulme Group failed to provide our member with a safe workplace which has caused unimaginable consequences for him.

“No amount of compensation can make up for such a serious injury, but with Unite the Union’s support, our member has had the best lawyers who got him interim payments, specialist therapies including psychological, speech and language therapy, and equipment that has helped with his rehabilitation.”