A print factory worker who has been left with a long term injury and remains off work almost two years after injuring his elbow in a fall at work has received £190,500 in compensation.

Since the accident in 2010 the young father of one was left unable to pick up his toddler and has been unable to return to his job as a printer for Impression Ltd, where he worked for six years.

The 35-year-old from Chester-le-Street, was attempting to fix a problem with a roll of paper on a machine and as he stepped backwards his foot struck a pallet truck parked directly behind him, causing him to fall.

His right elbow was fractured and dislocated. He needed emergency surgery and two weeks later a second operation to replace his elbow joint. Unfortunately he also needed a third operation when his elbow still hadn’t healed.

He has been told that he may need further surgery in the future.

He now has limited movement in his dominant right arm meaning that he cannot pick up his son and is restricted in what he can do to help at home. He lost his job with Impression UK and is looking for alternative work.

Thompsons Solicitors investigated a claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, Unite, which instructed specialist lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Thompsons argued breaches of health and safety law because the pallet truck should not have been parked so close to the machinery. Impression Ltd argued that the Unite member should have looked where he was going.

Impression Ltd accepted responsibility and settled the claim out of court.

The printer said: “This accident has turned my life upside down. I haven’t been able to return to work. I still can’t pick up my son or even change his nappies. I’m extremely worried about what job I can do in the future. This compensation will help us manage financially and gives me something for all the pain I have been through.”

Karen Reay, Unite Regional Secretary for North East, Yorkshire & Humberside, added: “Our member has been left with a long term disability and his future working life is now uncertain. Employers have a duty to ensure that the working environment is safe. He was focused on doing his job, trying to fix a machine, unaware of the dangerous tripping hazard behind him. Had the employer taken a more responsible attitude to health and safety this accident could have been prevented.”

Mick Laffey from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This member’s employer tried to pin blame for the accident on him but the bottom line was that he was the unfortunate victim of their bad practice - they simply didn’t have proper systems in place to control what was parked where.”