A railway signalman who suffered a hand fracture after he was injured on an authorised walkway at work has secured compensation with the support of his union lawyers.
RMT union member Christopher Walsh, a 68-year-old railway worker from Crewe, fractured his finger when he tripped over debris on an unlit walkway while on shift in February 2022.
Mr Walsh, who has worked as a signal operator for 25 years, was later taken to Leighton Hospital Accident and Emergency Department in Crewe.
Hospital X-rays revealed that he had fractured his finger. The RMT member was treated with a splint and forced off work for seven weeks.
Mr Walsh instructed the national law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, to launch a compensation claim for his injuries and financial losses, on the basis that his employer – Network Rail - had been negligent and had exposed him to a preventable risk of injury.
In support of his claim, Thompsons arranged for an independent medical expert to examine Mr Walsh’s injuries. Then they prepared a detailed report dealing with the injuries and financial costs that he had sustained due to the injury.
His employer admitted a breach of duty and agreed to pay him compensation. Following detailed negotiations with the defendant’s insurers, Thompsons helped him secure a compensation payout.
Despite making a full recovery, Mr Walsh believes the incident could have been avoided if his employer had heeded his and other colleagues’ warnings about the dangers of the unlit walkway.
Mr Walsh said: “This incident was entirely avoidable. My colleagues and I have been making numerous complaints to management about this walkway since 2017. We’ve been warning them that the lack of lighting at night was putting our safety at risk.
“They refused to address our concerns, insisting that it would not be ‘cost-effective’ to install the appropriate lighting. I’m hoping my experience will finally bring about the change required to keep my colleagues and me safe at work.
“I’ve been given incredible support by Thompsons. My legal representative, Rachel, listened to any concerns I had and kept me well-informed throughout proceedings – whether it was via a phone call or text message.
“I’m really pleased with the outcome of my claim. Having some financial security allows me to move on positively with my life.”
Thompsons’ Rachel Keogh, who represented Mr Walsh, said: “While it's not possible to fully compensate for the avoidable physical distress our client endured because of this incident, we are pleased that we were able to secure this outcome.
“Working in partnership with the RMT, our case was strengthened by the evidence of the independent medical expert. The settlement figure compensated Christopher for his hand injury and financial costs, including loss of earnings and travel expenses.
“We hope this settlement can provide some closure and wish him well in his future endeavours.”