Job Injury Leads to Employment Fears

27 Mar 2011

A metal worker who broke his elbow after a fall at work has received £60,000 in compensation after he was left unable to do his job properly. GMB member Geoffrey Skelton, 61, needed three operations on his elbow following the incident. It happened when the Casting Repairs employee, a cast iron stitcher, was working at Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering Ltd in September 2005. His injuries are so bad that nearly six years later he suffers from constant pain and is unable to use heavy vibrating machinery which he needs to do his job. He has been told he needs a further operation which will leave him without use of his arm and unable to work in a role he was trained in as a teenager and that has been his job ever since. Cast iron stitching is a skilled job involving cold welding using compressed air tools. Mr Skelton broke his elbow after he tripped on a pothole.

He said: ‘I am in constant pain and my injury means there are certain tools or jobs I can no longer do. I can’t even do DIY at home. I am a trained fitter but I had to get someone in to fit my kitchen.’ He added: ‘I am very worried about what the future holds. I had plans to work until I am 65. I just hope that I can hold off on this fourth operation to allow me to continue to work until then.’

Thompsons Solictors brought in by GMB argued that Mr Skelton’s employer, Castings Repairs, and Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering Ltd were responsible for the injury. They said both firms should have had procedures in place to ensure the workplace was safe. The claim was settled out of court after both firms admitted to share 90 per cent of the liability.

Tim Roache, regional secretary at the GMB, said: ‘A pothole is a pothole and is a danger. Both firms ignored the risks and a hard working skilled professional has been left with a long term injury and facing potential unemployment.’