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Workplace Injury - Ian's story

Ian was working for a telecommunications business as a driver/ warehouse assistant. 

In the course of his employment he was asked to go to a local supermarket to move a heavy telecommunications unit down an external metal fire escape. Ian’s supervisor instructed him to use an electronic folding stair walker for the task. Ian put the unit on the stair walker, strapped it and began walking downstairs. 

When the stair walker reached the edge of each step, it was supposed to sense this, stop and then it could be pushed down the next step manually by Ian.

However, instead as it approached the edge of the first step, instead of stopping, it continued over the edge and began to fall down the flight of stairs. 

Instinctively, Ian held onto the stair walker in an attempt to prevent both it and the unit falling down the steps onto a colleague below. As the stair walker fell down the steps, Ian suffered a fracture dislocation injury to his right shoulder which required surgery. His recovery was complicated by the development of adhesive capsulitis. He also suffered a laceration and scarring to his forehead, and psychological symptoms.

Ian’s employers initially denied responsibility for the accident saying that the equipment was not faulty and failed to provide a full copy of the post-accident report on the stair walker. Leigh Day managed to acquire a copy of this report which stated that the brake sensor was defective. 

Leigh Day settled Ian’s claim for a five-figure sum of compensation.