A Leeds labourer who fractured his spine and was knocked unconscious after he was buried by a heap of environmental waste is now appealing to ex-colleagues to help him put together a claim against his former employer.
Leslie Wagstaff, from Otley, had been working as a seasonal employee removing pieces of metal, plastic and litter from piles of green waste at management and recycling company Nutramulch Yorkshire Ltd when the face of the 30-foot pile of mulch toppled forward and buried him at the firm’s Arthington Quarry site.
The firm has since gone into liquidation.
The 62-year-old was taken to Wharfedale Hospital and then rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where doctors told him he had suffered a fractured spine, as well as breaking his foot and suffering crush injuries.
Mark Aldridge, from Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, the legal firm representing him, said: “Employers have a duty to ensure their employees are properly protected from harm and this is particularly important in dangerous settings such as this. It was an incredibly frightening experience for Leslie and it’s had a long-term impact on his life.
“We hope many of his ex colleagues from Nutramulch will come forward with information about how this incident happened and if anything more could have been done to help protect him.”
Leslie eventually underwent surgery to rebuild his foot with pins and a metal plate.
He said: “I certainly didn’t expect to end up with such terrible injuries simply from collecting litter, plastic and waste from the agricultural mulch the firm was processing. It’s frustrating not being able to get back to work.”
Anyone with information should contact Mark Aldridge at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 3946757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org