Faulty Crane Linked To Crushed Foot

13 Oct 2012

A welder needed surgery after a steel beam fell on his foot from a faulty crane. The 51-year-old GMB member from Wetherby, whose name has not been released, was moving the 10ft long and two foot wide beam using an overhead pendant operated crane as part of his job as a welder for Severfield Reeve Ltd.

The beam broke free from the crane’s plate grab and fell to the floor, crushing his left foot. He suffered severe crush injuries, including a broken big toe and a large open wound in his foot which needed surgery. He was in hospital for a week and off work for three months. Investigations found the plate grab was faulty and it was removed from use. The welder has been left with permanent symptoms including pain when standing and working for long periods of time. He has a 25 per cent chance of developing arthritis and if he does develop the condition he will need further surgery. In a union-backed compensation case, Severfield Reeve admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Tim Roache, GMB regional secretary for Yorkshire & North Derbyshire, said: ‘Employers have an absolute duty to maintain work equipment. The consequences of failing to do so can be expensive and in the worst case scenario may result in the death of a worker. Our member is now permanently disabled but is fortunate that he came away with his life.’