Former Truck Driver Calls For Workplace Safety Improvements As He Launches Legal Battle For Answers

Specialist Lawyers Helping Dad-Of-Two Who Suffered Head And Neck Injuries In Fall At Work


By Suzanne Rutter

A pick-up truck driver who suffered serious head and neck injuries in an accident at work has called for a greater focus on health and safety in the workplace, as he launches his own legal battle for justice against his former employer.

Allan Mackenzie, of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, was working for his former employers the UBC Group Ltd, which was based at the Parkend Industrial Estate before it went into administration, when he was injured while removing wooden shutters from the firm’s yard.

Mr Mackenzie loaded the shutters onto his pick-up truck and tied rope provided by UBC around them to hold them in place. However, the rope snapped and Allan, who was standing on the back of his truck, fell 10-foot from the vehicle and hit his head on the concrete ground below.

The 36-year-old was knocked unconscious and was rushed to The Western Isles Hospital where he was diagnosed with swelling on the brain and damage to two vertebrae in his neck. He was initially released from hospital but he returned when he began showing the signs and symptoms of a head injury. He still suffers debilitating headaches and pains in his neck.

Since the incident, he has instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who have now issued court proceedings against the UBC Group in a bid to get the dad-of-two young children the justice he deserves.

Laura McCallum, an expert solicitor from Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office who is representing him, said: “Allan suffered really serious injuries in the fall and his case highlights how important is for employers to maintain health and safety standards so employees can carry out their jobs safely.

“He had to take a month off work to allow the swelling on his brain to ease and has been in constant agony ever since.

“His employer had a duty of care to provide correct and safe equipment to be able to carry out his role.  Allan believes the rope was frayed and weak due to wear and tear and that if he’d been given safer rope, he wouldn’t have suffered his injuries.

“We now hope to work with UBC Group’s representatives to help Allan get the justice he deserves for the injuries he suffered so he can finally start to get his life back on track.”

Allan had worked for the UBC Group as a pick-up truck driver for five years when the accident happened on 22 June 2010. The firm later went into administration in 2011 and Allan was made redundant, leaving him unemployed.

After the accident he was rushed to The Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway where he was examined and discharged the same day. However, when he got home he continued to feel sick, was lethargic and suffered from excruciating headaches. He returned to hospital where doctors confirmed he had swelling on the brain.

He returned to hospital again in November 2010 where further tests and scans confirmed he had also damaged the bones in his neck.

He said: “I’d carried out many labour and driving jobs like this for the UBC Group and didn’t think twice when I was asked to remove the old shutters, which had been lying around the yard for some time. The rope was kept in the yard for general manual jobs and we were always told not to bother the store man for new rope if there was old rope lying around. It was left out in all weather but I didn’t expect it to be in such bad condition that it would snap so easily.

“I tied the rope around the shutters to keep them from falling off the van, but as I pulled tight on the rope, it snapped and I fell backwards over the edge of the truck. It’s frightening to think that I was knocked unconscious and the emergency services and police had to be called.

“My own local doctor told me that nine out of ten people would have died as a result of this kind of fall as your brain gets hit three times, one from the fall then your brain goes forwards hits the front of your head then it hits the back of your skull again.

“It’s been three years since the accident and I’m still in constant pain, which has been really hard to come to terms with. I believe that everything I’ve endured could have been prevented if I’d just been provided with safer equipment to carry out the job.”