GAZ in 400 Bus Deal

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Driver awaits decision on third fall injury claim

A former truck driver who fractured his spine in a truck-related accident is waiting to hear whether he has won his third compensation claim against a national egg-delivery firm.

Stephen Harvey was working as a driver and was also serving as a safety representative for Stonegate Farmers before the firm closed its Seisdon depot near Wolverhampton, West Midlands in December 2004.

Since then the firm has merged with Deans Foods to form a new company, Noble Foods.

Harvey fractured his spine after complaining that the industrial safety shoes he had been issued with were worn he said they caused him to slip and fall between his tractor and trailer.

The accident happened in October 2001. After six months' treatment he returned to work, expecting to be put on light duties.

He complained that he was later dismissed following a dispute and was awarded £2,800 at Birmingham Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

At a subsequent Tribunal hearing Harvey was awarded £750 for losing his position as the firm's health and safety representative.

He has now lodged a third compensation claim against the firm - this time alleging that it had failed to make reasonable adjustments in finding him an alternative job to driving, involving light duties, after his return to work in April 2002.

At the latest Tribunal hearing, the firm said it had been co-operative and had offered Harvey two options.

Harvey said he had refused both because they were unsuitable for his medical condition.

"One offer involved driving, which I still cannot do, and the other was washing down trucks," he told the Tribunal.

Harvey explained that he would have preferred a desk job such as that of assistant transport manager, which he alleged the firm offered to another employee without putting it out to general offer.

Tribunal chairman David Kearsley concluded that a decision over Harvey's compensation claim would be made at a later date.