Carillion Liable For Night Worker’s Injury

12 Jan 2013

A road maintenance worker working in the dark on an unlit stretch of the A52 needed surgery on a badly damaged ankle after he suffered a fall. Dean Ness, 35, was off work for three months following the operation to mend torn ligaments in his ankle when he stumbled on the kerb while putting cones on the road at Spondon, Derby.

The GMB member was working the night shift for Carillion plc on the back of a road maintenance truck, placing cones on the road to close it off so work could be done on the central reservation. When he got off the truck he turned his left ankle on the kerb, which couldn’t be seen in the pitch dark. Even though colleagues had complained about the lack of lighting on that stretch of the road, Carillion had failed to rig-up temporary lighting so he could see what he was doing. Despite suffering from a swollen and badly bruised ankle he attempted to work through the pain for a number of weeks. When it became clear the ankle was not healing he was referred to physiotherapy and then surgery to stabilise his ankle. In a union-backed compensation case, Carillion admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for over £8,000.

GMB Yorkshire & North Derbyshire regional secretary Tim Roache commented: ‘Carillion is responsible for maintaining miles of the UK’s road network. They are experienced in the industry and we would expect that experience to translate to providing a safe working environment for its employees. Instead the firm ignored the staff’s concern about working in a poorly lit section of the road and as a result Mr Ness was badly injured.’