Injured worker wins pay-out

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A WAREHOUSE worker has been awarded £4,500 after an accident at work.

Paul Pritchard received the compensation after his employer admitted blame for the accident which left him unable to carry out everyday tasks and with injuries which took more than eight months to heal.

Mr Pritchard, 37, from Sunderland, was forced to take almost four months off work when he was injured while packing aeroplane components weighing about 24kg each at the Rolls Royce Depot in Sunderland for Mitie Group.

The parts were stored in such a way that he had to bend down to lift them and as he did so, he strained the right side of his chest wall.

After the accident Mr Pritchard contacted his trade union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors, to pursue compensation.

Thompsons argued that Mitie should have done more to prevent the accident from happening.

Mr Pritchard said: “I was off work for almost four months and was basically bedridden. I contacted the GMB because I felt that Mitie should have done more to make sure the job I was doing was safe.

“I still work at Rolls Royce but now have a different employer.”

Chris Preston, organiser at the GMB added: “Paul didn’t want to be injured and he would rather not have lost the wages that he did. A simple risk assessment of the task and small changes would have avoided this altogether.”

Lyndsay Milligan, from Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office, said Mr Pritchard’s injuries could have been avoided if his work had been better planned.

“The employers failed to think the job through and put Mr Pritchard and his colleagues’ well-being at risk.

“The answer was to store the aeroplane components at a more suitable height to avoid straining when lifting them.”