Our Serious Injury team in Manchester has successfully secured compensation for a trainee arborist who suffered a serious spinal injury after falling out of a tree.
Our client was undergoing supervised training at a height of about 10 metres when he unclipped his karabiner attaching him to the climbing system and fell to the ground. Although he was sufficiently experienced to climb the tree competently, he still required supervision to ensure he carried out all the necessary safety requirements. On the day of the accident his supervisor failed to check that our client had tested his main climbing system three times before unclipping his other safety line. This was in breach of the risk assessments in place for the training and resulted in serious consequences for our client.
The damage to his spinal cord was so bad that he had to learn how to walk again. Despite a good recovery, he may need to consider moving to a property without stairs because of his mobility issues, and in the future will be dependent on a wheelchair from time to time. He will also never be able to fulfil his ambition of becoming a tree surgeon.
Although the trainee was responsible for unclipping his harness, he was also due a better level of supervision to keep him safe in his training environment. The settlement he received from the tree surgery college reflected the respective responsibility of both parties.
Matt Brown, an expert personal injury lawyer and Partner in the Manchester office, represented the client.
He said: “My client has shown huge bravery during a long and painful recovery. He knows that he will have to live with the lifelong consequences of his injuries and on top of this he has had to come to terms with the fact that his chosen career is no longer an option for him. The settlement we secured reflected the responsibility of the college to follow the correct safety regulations and ensure all training was adequately supervised. Our client is a young and determined man who wants to make the best of things and to make a life for himself and his partner: this compensation will help him to access the rehabilitation and support that he needs to move forwards with his life.”
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious back or spinal cord injury at work, our specialist serious injury claims team could help you to claim compensation. Visit our Spinal Injury Claims page or Accident at Work Claims page for more information.
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