Worker broke foot at Sheffield factory

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NEWS: News.
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A SHEFFIELD factory worker whose foot was broken after he was provided with the wrong type of equipment to move alloy bars has received a £6,500 compensation payout.

Machine operator Michael Kirby, of Southey, suffered two fractured metatarsals in his left foot and was off work for seven weeks after the accident at Ross and Catherall in Killamarsh.

The 47-year-old had been trained to move 5ft long alloy bars from the floor to a machine, by picking them up using a scissor clamp and swinging them in.

However, during one of his shifts one of the bars dropped out of the clamp and landed on his foot.

Although he was wearing steel -capped boots with a built-in metatarsal guard, the impact was so great it broke his foot.

After the accident, staff at the alloy manufacturer were told to move the bars closer to the floor before bringing them up to the level of the machine, rather than swinging them around.

Later, a different type of clamp with curved interlocking forks was introduced to move the bars.

Ross and Catherall admitted liability and settled the claim out of court after being contacted by solicitors instructed by the GMB union.

Mr Kirby said: “After the accident I was virtually housebound for several weeks.

“I found it difficult to get around on crutches and could only get upstairs by using a stairlift we fortunately already had.

“I was frustrated at being injured when I was only doing my job in the way I had been told to.

“It was obviously a dangerous system because after my accident steps were taken to prevent swinging the bars and we were provided with a different type of clamp to move the bars.”

Andy Worth, from the GMB, said: “Our member was injured because he had been trained to move these alloy bars in an unsafe way.

“There was no risk assessment of the job which would have highlighted the danger of swinging the bars and the need for a more appropriate clamp to be used to prevent workers being injured.”

Teresa Marriott, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This employer failed to take into consideration the health and safety ramifications of the job.

“It is the employer’s responsibility to provide suitable work equipment and to ensure safe systems of work are used.

“In this case a quick assessment would have highlighted the potential dangers of the method and equipment used and would have been cheaper than paying compensation to an injured worker.”