A maintenance operative who was injured after falling from steps erected out of scaffolding has won £44,000 in compensation.

The unnamed man, 45, was carrying equipment down the steps when he lost his balance. One of the steps had not been properly secured and, as he stepped on it, it tilted forwards causing him to fall heavily onto his left knee.

He carried on working, despite experiencing pain and swelling, and did not visit his doctor until the following day. His GP immediately referred him to hospital, where it was discovered that he had ruptured a tendon in his knee.

After surgery to reconstruct his tendon, a wire was inserted into his knee to support it while it healed. Four months later, he had a further operation to have the wire removed and then began a course of physiotherapy. In total, he was unable to work for eight months while he recovered, resulting in a substantial loss of earnings. Although he has now returned to work, he has been told that he will never fully recover from the injuries he suffered.

The man commenced a personal injury claim against his employer. The employer’s insurance company admitted liability for the accident and the claim was settled for £44,000.

Says Jason Claridge, “Employers have a legal duty to assess health and safety risks in the workplace and take reasonable steps to remove or minimise those risks. If you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us for advice on making a claim.”

The Health and Safety Executive has useful guidance on ensuring scaffolding is safe at http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/scaffoldinginfo.htm.