Stephen Waterson, 56, was de-rigging a 300-tonne crane for Mammoet (UK) Ltd at its Redcar site on 9 September 2021 when the head of the crane hit his right elbow.

He was rushed to The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where he was treated for multiple severe fractures and nerve damage. He was taken into surgery to have three metal plates inserted and was initially told his arm may have to be amputated if he did not make some recovery.

The terrifying incident left Mr Waterson so severely injured that he was forced to take seven months off work to undergo intensive rehabilitation and therapy to aid his recovery. He has been left with significant scarring on his arm and has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which has affected him personally and professionally.

Following his ordeal, The Unite the Union member instructed national law firm Thompsons Solicitors to bring a legal claim against Mammoet (UK) Ltd alleging that more should and could have been done to protect him from injury.

As part of the legal action, the firm argued that the crane driver had not ensured the crane had taken the weight of the crane head and that his employers had failed to ensure a suitable risk assessment had been carried out to identify the serious risk of injury to employees regarding the removal of the crane head.

His legal team, led by Paul Morpeth, a senior solicitor at Thompsons’ Newcastle office, also argued that he should have had more than two colleagues with him and that there should have been a supervisor present.

The employer admitted partial liability for the incident, and after detailed discussions between the parties, Thompsons Solicitors was able to secure a £300,000 settlement.

Mr Waterson said: “It’s been an incredibly distressing ordeal for me to have to go through. I used to be very independent, but I now rely heavily on those around me.

“Due to the incident, I still experience some physical pain and suffer from sleepless nights. I’ve had to teach myself to be left-handed to counteract the limitations I have with my right arm.

“It’s frustrating knowing that this was an entirely avoidable incident. I hope no one else has to go through what I experienced and that lessons have been learned.

“Thompsons has provided me with magnificent legal advice and support. My solicitor, Paul, fought long and hard to secure a good settlement, and his passion and empathy shone through. I can’t thank him enough.”

Following the incident, Mr Waterson still experiences tingling sensations and suffers from restricted arm movements, which means that he can't take part in much-loved hobbies, such as parachuting, going to the gym and swimming. As a result, even now.

He now works in a lower-paid, less manual role and has since been told he may still need elbow replacement surgery in the future.

Paul Morpeth, a senior solicitor at Thompsons’ Newcastle office, said: “The injuries our client sustained as a result of a serious mistake by a colleague and his employer's lack of appropriate risk assessment were truly horrific.

"He still encounters some discomfort in his arm and has had to move into a lesser-paid job due to the extent of his injuries.

“We’re pleased that we could secure a positive outcome and hope that this can provide the necessary closure to allow him to move on in his life.”