Redundancies on the cards at Forgemasters

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Jobs are set to go at a Sheffield steel plant, bosses have announced.

Managers at Forgemasters have not yet confirmed the total number of workers they need to axe, but have started a 30-day consultation process, meaning at least 20 positions are at risk.

Unions have been told of the job losses and are urging the company to keep the numbers as low as possible.

Graham Honeyman, chief executive said: “Sheffield Forgemasters is to make a small number of jobs redundant.

“These are precautionary measures short-term to combat recessionary pressures and to streamline our operations, preserving the vast majority of jobs at the company and focusing firmly on the long term future.

“The company continues to place great value in investing in research and development, new skills and training through its award winning apprenticeships scheme, to create future manufacturing jobs for the UK and Sheffield.

“Sheffield Forgemasters still has ambitious plans for capital expenditure, strong orders in many areas as a result of the flexibility of the business and its employees’ skills and is on track budget wise this financial year.”

Forgemasters employs 820 staff at its Brightside Lane site.

Doug Patterson, Unite’s regional officer for Forgemasters, said: “Unite very much regrets the need for job losses which have been caused by worldwide pressures and competition in other parts of the world.

“We wish to work with the company to minimise job losses.

“We don’t know the exact numbers, but we will be looking to try to make sure they are as low as possible and believe the company has the same aspirations.

Meanwhile, Mr Honeyman confirmed that an investigation is under way after an employee suffered serious leg injuries in an accident at the site and was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery.

Both South Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, which happened on Friday.

Mr Honeyman said: “At 4.30pm on February 4 a foundry employee received leg injuries after an incident involving a vehicle.

“The man was transferred to Northern General Hospital where it is understood that his injuries, although serious, are not life threatening.

“He has subsequently undergone surgery.

“Police and Health and Safety Executive officials attended the site and a full investigation, conducted by the company’s Safety Director, is currently under way.”