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Ucatt wins record £8m in claims

CONSTRUCTION union Ucatt won nearly £8 million in a record level of compensation claims for its members last year.

The awards included a £1.6 million payout to a joiner who is now wheelchair bound after falling from a roof on a Alfred McAlpine Homes site in Leeds.

The £7,921,135 total was almost double the previous year's figure of £4,139,286 as its solicitors settled 635 claims.

General secretary George Brumwell said: 'Of course we would like the total to be zero.

'No amount of money can ever really compensate for accidents and injuries - that is why we campaign to make construction a safe industry.'

The £1.6 million payout is Ucatt's largest injury settlement.

The joiner was 56 at the time of the accident in 1999, when he damaged his spinal column in the neck while lifting roof trusses with the aid of a mobile crane.

He released the chain from a truss, and told the crane driver to lift the hook but it caught on the truss, lifting it out, which made it collapse and knock him over.

He hit the floor joists and fell to the ground because they were not boarded.