Firefighter Warns Workers To Log Accidents

30 Jan 2010

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) member Donavon Gooden, 43, was forced to give up his job after he slipped a disc while attending a car accident in February 2005. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service had been called out after a car had slipped on the icy roads and hit a wall. Donavon and his colleagues were attempting to move the car back onto the road when he felt a twinge in his back. He said at the time he didn’t think anything of it and just continued with his work. He didn’t write the incident down in the accident book. It wasn’t until a few days later when he began to feel pain down the back of his left leg and in his back that he went to his doctor and discovered he had slipped a disc. The firefighter, who had 20 years service, has since had to undergo surgery and has been told he will never work as a firefighter again. He said: ‘I’d warn any firefighter who has a workplace accident, no matter how minor it seems, to log it straight away. I didn’t think I needed to write down what happened to me and it later caused problems for my legal team.’ In a union-backed compensation case, he subsequently received £100,000 in an out of court settlement after South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service admitted liability.