No one told me about job pitfalls

SHANE Michael Reynolds is suing Rockhampton Regional Council for $750,000, saying his old bosses sent him on a dangerous job without letting him know the pitfalls ... literally.

Shane claims he suffered extensive damage to his right knee when he fell into a Telstra work pit and a big steel sheet crashed down on his knee.

The 32-year-old has this month lodged a claim with the Rockhampton District Court seeking damages for the injuries he suffered in the September 2008 incident.

The claim says Mr Reynolds was working on a nearby roundabout when his foreman told him and a colleague to retrieve the steel plate.

Mr Reynolds, a labourer working for council, claims he was unaware the plate was being used to cover the pit.

“Mr Reynolds took hold of the plate and as he was lifting the metal he stepped forward in order to place the sheet in an upright position,” the claim says.

“As he did so he stepped forward with his right foot which caused his right foot to step into the pit and the plate fell down onto his knee cap.”

He suffered extensive knee ligament injuries and fractured his patella.

The injuries have prevented him from working as a labourer again and the knee’s condition is expected to degenerate.

The claim said it had been a council employee who had put the steel plate over the pit prior to the incident to cover a broken lid.

It’s alleged no-one from council contacted Telstra to let them know about the situation.

And the council worker didn’t barricade the area.

Mr Reynolds is represented by Maurice Blackburn lawyers.

“The injury will have long-term consequences for Shane, affecting his capacity to work in physically demanding jobs,” a spokesman said.

“The claim is predominately for medical expenses and future lost income relating to Mr Reynolds’ knee injury at work.

“Mr Reynolds is worried about how this injury will affect him for the rest of his working life.

“At just 32 years of age, he has more than 30 years of work life ahead of him and a substantial part of his claim is for lost earnings because he will have a reduced capacity to work and progress to higher paying jobs later in life.”

The spokesman said Mr Reynolds was disappointed about the breakdown in communication in the Rockhampton Regional Council that led to his injury.

“If Mr Reynolds had been told there was a hole underneath the metal sheeting, he believes the accident would not have happened,” the spokesman said.

A spokesperson for Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday said council was unable to comment on this matter because of the pending legal action.

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