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Street lighting worker claiming compensation after falling down manhole in Sheffield street

Tony Garratty, pictured on Gregory Road, Heeley. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Tony Garratty, pictured on Gregory Road, Heeley. Picture: Andrew Roe.
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A street lighting electrician who had to have his testicle removed and three operations after falling down a manhole in a Sheffield street is calling for compensation from his employers.

Tony Garratty was working for Sheffield Council contractor Amey when carrying out repairs on a lamppost on Gregory Road, Heeley, when he stepped back and fell down the hole.

He was left unable to work for months after damaging three discs in his spine, dislodging a disc in his neck and being left in 'excruciating' pain throughout his body.

Mr Garratty said: "I got out of the van and there were some leaves which had accumulated on the path and I stepped back and went straight down a manhole.

"I fell down and my left leg went down the hole and my right leg was in the air and I knocked myself out."

Mr Garratty, 58, of Beauchief, said he had three operations on his back and neck following the incident in November 2012 but was still left in excruciating pain after surgery.

It was only an MRI scan in 2014 which showed the extent of his injuries and he now claims that contractor Amey, who he was working for at the time, should have replaced the manhole cover.

"It was around the time when lots of manholes and grates were being stolen for scrap," he said.

"But we were told by neighbours on that street that the manhole I fell down had been reported missing 18 months before my accident.

"We went a few days after my accident and the manhole had been replaced it's just a shame it took what happened to me for them to sort it."

Mr Garratty said he was forced to leave his job at Amey following the incident and, despite finding work elsewhere, was still off work intermittently because of his injuries.

He said: "My dispute is that this has been going on for more than five years now. I am now classed as 68 per cent disabled and just want it sorting."

An Amey spokesman said: “We are aware of Mr Garratty’s claim and we will ensure it is handled promptly. As this is an ongoing legal case, however, we are unable to comment further at this time.”