A supervisor at a gas depot who suffered life threatening injuries in a huge gas blast has received compensation after help from Unite Legal Services.

The 56-year-old from Bristol suffered severe burns to his head, leg, wrists, ears and back in the horrific accident. He needed several operations, including skin grafts and removal of part of his ear, following the accident.

The Unite the Union member was in intensive care for 48 hours and was in hospital for almost a month as a result of the explosion at the BOC gas depot in St Philips.

HSE is still investigating the cause of the accident

The member was checking cylinders in the plant when one exploded with such force that it blew out the depot’s windows. Roads in the area were closed for five days because of ongoing safety concerns raised by the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE is still investigating the cause of the accident.

He was lucky to survive the accident but his injuries mean he is unable to return to work and he was medically retired from BOC, where he had been employed for 22 years.

He still suffers from nightmares and flashbacks, has significant scarring and reduced mobility as a result of his injuries.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the blast the member was supported in his claim for compensation by his trade union, Unite the Union. Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to act on his behalf.

BOC admitted liability but settled the claim out of court.

The Unite member said: “I still don’t know what caused the accident but I know that I am lucky to be alive. I still suffer from flashbacks most days and I worry about what could have happened. It has taken time to come to terms with my injuries but the psychological impact means I will never be able to return to the industry I had worked in for decades. My reduced mobility also means that I’m limited in what other roles I can do once I’ve made my recovery.”

Life threatening injuries as a result of very serious accident

Laurence Faircloth, regional secretary at Unite the Union said: “The HSE are still investigating the cause of this accident but BOC has taken the correct action in paying compensation to our member who was a loyal member of staff but suffered horrendous injuries as a result of this unprecedented gas blast.

“We await the HSE’s final report and will work to make sure that any resulting recommendations made are followed through by BOC so that this can never happen again.

“This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are there to act for members and their families. Unite Legal Services would like to thank Thompsons Solicitors who acted as panel solicitor for our member's family.”

Lisa Gunner from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Our client suffered life threatening injuries as a result of this very serious accident and has made a remarkable recovery. We worked hard to ensure that his case was handled efficiently and that we achieved a good result bearing in mind that the HSE are still investigating the cause of the blast. “