Christopher Kaye, 57, will receive damages from former employer Euro Dismantling Services

A demolition excavator operator has been awarded a £1.75m compensation payout after injuries sustained at work left him brain damaged.

Christopher Kaye, 57, suffered life-threatening head injuries when he was hit in the face by a steel locking bar at a construction site in Sheffield in October 2008.

His former employer Euro Dismantling Services initially denied responsibility, but ultimately agreed to pay a lump sum of £1.75m, and a further £135,000 annually for life.

Kaye’s legal team said the damages package was likely to reach £4.2m, based on a life-expectancy of 20 years.

Justice Popplewell, who approved the settlement, told the High Court Kaye had shown “outstanding courage”.

His injuries arose after a supervisor on a construction site in Attercliffe, Sheffield, asked him to remove a grapple attachment from an excavator.

Kaye was changing the attachment when the metal bar fixing the grapple to the boom sprang out, hitting him in the face.  

He underwent life-saving surgery at Sheffield Hospital, but was left with severe brain damage.

Lawyers argued that Kaye had not received adequate training for the job in hand, and that safety equipment which would have reduced the risks was not bought in until after the accident.

Jill Greenfield from law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, said: “This was a terrible accident that could have been avoided had better equipment and training been in place at Kaye’s workplace.

“This accident has had a profound effect on Kaye, and his family, who are devoted to him.”

“The money will allow Chris to have round-the-clock care and support in what are very difficult circumstances.”

Kaye’s wife, Sue, said: “No amount of money will help Chris to fully recover or give me back my loving husband of 32 years, nor will my children ever have the same dad.”