A man who had to have his leg amputated below the knee after breaking his ankle at work has received a substantial sum in compensation with the help of his union Unite.

William Edge, 64, from Plymouth received the accident compensation in an out of court settlement after doctors were unable to save his broken ankle.

His employer Ardmore Construction admitted liability after Unite instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation for his injury.

Mr Edge worked as a labourer for the Plymouth-based building firm. His job involved locking up a construction site on Elliott Street, Plymouth, at the end of the working day. This included the basement area which was accessed by a ladder fixed to a crane base which was exposed to the elements and in a pool of deep water.

Slipped and fell at work

Mr Edge was often alone on the site when locking up and had on several occasions asked that he was accompanied or at least provided with a two-way radio but his requests were ignored. In September 2005 he lost his grip on the wet and slippery ladder and fell on to the concrete below.

He broke his right ankle and was forced to shout for help for around 20 minutes before he was heard by a passerby.

He had eight operations on his ankle to fix the break but in January 2007 the decision was made to amputate his leg below the knee.

Mr Edge said: “It is difficult to comprehend how much my life has changed since this accident. The most obvious effect has been on my mobility. I was fit, healthy and fully mobile before my accident. I used to enjoy going for runs and walks in the countryside and going swimming. I can’t do any of this now and I miss it.

“I have been deprived of my career and my role as the bread-winner in the family. I have worked all my life and it has been hard adjusting to this as I had always intended to work until I was 65.”

Cutting corners on health and safety can lead to life changing consequences for employees

Laurence Faircloth from Unite added: “Mr Edge’s accident has had horrendous consequences. He should never have been put in a position where he was forced to use such a treacherous ladder. Strict health and safety regulations should be followed to make sure accidents like this are avoided.”

James Davies from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Edge’s life has been turned upside down by this accident. He has endured eight agonising operations and now has to adapt to life without his lower right leg. Employers must be aware that cutting corners on health and safety can lead to life changing consequences for their employees.”

This news story was also published by thisisplymouth.co.uk.