Serious Injury Lawyers Say Case Highlights Urgent Need To Improve Safety At Work
29 June 2012
A man who suffered multiple fractures when he was crushed by a reversing lorry at work has spoken of his relief after specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secured a six-figure settlement to help provide him with vital rehabilitation to help him recover.
Paul Gelder, from East Ardsley, suffered serious injuries when he became trapped between a reversing lorry and the wall of a warehouse dock loading bay in Wakefield causing permanent pain in his back, hips and legs which means he is now unlikely to work again.
54-year-old Mr Gelder was left with a shattered pelvis in a number of places and a ruptured bladder in the accident on 13 November 2008 and now has permanent symptoms of pain to his back which radiates down his legs causing him problems with mobility affecting how he carries out everyday tasks. During his treatment he needed a metal bar to be placed in his back to hold the pelvic bones in place and is now unable to do any heavy lifting.
Serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell secured an out-of-court settlement for Mr Gelder from UPS (Supply Chain Solutions) UK Limited to cover his lost earnings, treatment, ongoing care and adaptations to help him around the home such as a special chair and bed for back injuries.
Specialists in work place injuries at Irwin Mitchell said the case highlights the urgent need to improve safety at work after UPS were fined £25,000 by the HSE because equipment at the loading bays was faulty and Mr Gelder was not given adequate training to carry out his role.
During the HSE prosecution it was revealed that Mr Gelder had never been given any instruction on how to unload containers and no-one from UPS had provided health and safety information or training.
While working as an agency worker for UPS on Telford Way, Mr Gelder was at the edge of the loading bay when he lifted a ramp up by hand as it did not meet the lorry properly to unload, and while doing so the lorry reversed into him, crushing him against the wall.
Mr Gelder said: “I’m just so relieved that this settlement is now secured. The past three years have been horrendous and it has been a struggle to get back on track. I will suffer from problems for the rest of my life because of this accident and can’t lift anything heavy at all. My life has changed completely but thankfully I now have some help with treatment and special equipment to help me around the house.
“I was never given any proper training and was pretty much just left to get on with the job. I had no idea the equipment in the loading bay was faulty and it just makes me angry that had things have been different I would not be in this situation.
“I hope that what happened to me highlights how important training and the proper equipment is to employers so that no one else has to suffer in future.”
Claire Newstead, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Mr Gelder, said: “The settlement will go a long way in helping Mr Gelder regain some normality in his life, but that it will never make up for the trauma he has endured. He has struggled to come to terms with his injuries and his treatment has been distressing for him.
“If his employers had carried out an adequate risk assessment and provided the appropriate training then his accident could have been avoided. Their failings are totally unacceptable.
“All too often we see people such as Mr Gelder seriously injured in accidents that could have been easily avoided with better health and safety procedures in the work place. Businesses need to ensure they provide the correct equipment and training for all members of staff to prevent further accidents of this nature.”