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Lincolnshire man wins £20,000 after having feet crushed at work

A Lincolnshire factory worker was awarded £20,000 compensation after having his feet crushed in an accident at work.

The man was using a Pedestrian Pallet Truck (PPT) forklift to transport goods around the factory. As he was manoeuvering a load, he tripped on a protruding metal bar that was designed to protect the walls from damage by forklift trucks operating in the area.

In an attempt to brace himself, he grabbed hold of the tiller arm of the PPT, accidentally catching the reverse button.  With this, the PPT shot backwards, trapping both his feet between the edge of the machine and the protective bar.

Colleagues quickly freed him and took him to the first aid room where he had ice packs applied to his swollen feet, before going back to carry on with his job.

Unfortunately, his feet continued to swell and within a few hours the pain became so intense that he was taken to the Accident and Emergency department at the local hospital.

There, X-rays identified a fractured ankle on his left leg and a snapped heel on his right foot. He had a cast fitted to the left leg and a surgical boot fitted to the right.

These were serious injuries that left him unable to work for several months afterwards and involved repeated hospital visits for further x-rays and treatment for months afterwards.

The injuries meant that his mobility was severely affected; he was unable to drive and had to use a wheelchair for a couple of months.

Liability was hotly disputed by the defendant. However, we maintained that the accident resulted from a breach of duty by the employer, who had, amongst other things, failed to carry out proper risk assessments, failed to ensure that equipment stop controls were readily accessible and failed to ensure that equipment could not be accidently activated.

Janet Lee, partner and personal injury expert, negotiated with insurers reaching an out of court settlement recovering compensation for loss of earnings, expenses, pain, suffering and loss of amenities.

Author: Gail Harris