The 30-year-old Oxfordshire driver was walking along a platform at Frome station at 5am when he slipped on ice and injured his knee. Grit had been put down a portion of the platform equal to two train carriages. However, the driver’s train was longer and therefore he had to negotiate an icy area. In addition to this, the platform was dark.
Although the driver took extra care, he still slipped and tore the tendons and ligaments in his left knee. He later required two operations and three years after the accident occurred, he is still receiving physiotherapy. The victim also needed a recovery period of nine months, during which time he was absent from work.
The driver was a member of the trade union ASLEF and when he contacted them about the incident they instructed a firm of personal injury solicitors to file a compensation claim on his behalf.
First Great Western, the driver’s employer, admitted liability for the accident and a significant out of court settlement was reached.
ASLEF offers its members a free legal service and the driver was understandably delighted that he could turn to his union for help.
Mick Whelan, the general secretary of ASLEF, explained that the employer knew the length of the trains that use the station and would have been aware that drivers would need to walk along sections that were unsafe. This accident would have been avoided if a more considered approach had been taken towards ensuring the platform was clear of snow and ice.