A fitter who fell half way through a hole 70ft in the air on a scaffolding platform has received compensation for the injuries he suffered as a result of the terrifying work place accident.

The 64-year-old was working for a contractor in Port Talbot in February 2008 when he put his foot into a hole in the scaffolding platform which had been left uncovered.

As he attempted to save himself from falling 70ft to the ground he ended up dangling upside down. Because he had dislocated his left shoulder he was unable to pull himself out of the dangerous position and had to rely on colleagues to rescue him.

The fitter of more than 40 years had to take more than eight months off work whilst his shoulder recovered and still has limited movement in his arm.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident he instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

An investigation revealed wooden planks which made up the platform floor had been removed, creating the foot-wide hole. The scaffolding hadn’t been inspected.

His employers admitted liability for failing to inspect the scaffolding and settled the claim out of court for £20,000.

Worker suffered a painful injury

The dad of four now works as a contractor for a different company. He said: “When I realised I couldn’t move my arm to get myself out of the hole I began to worry. Fortunately my colleagues had seen what happened and were quick to rescue me. I don’t like to think about what would have happened if I’d fallen. It was a long way down.

“My shoulder has recovered but I am still limited in the things I can do. I’ve learnt to live with it and to cope the best I can with my work.”

Alex Harvey from Thompsons Solicitors added: “No-one knows why these planks had been removed from the scaffolding platform but it is obvious that it created a significant hazard in breach of the construction regulations which state that the employer must provide safe access to every place their employees work.

“This accident could have had very serious consequences and as it is our client suffered a painful injury which saw him take significant time off work.”