Worker receives compensation for shoulder injury

A GMB member who damaged his shoulder in a workplace accident has been awarded £3,500 in compensation from his employers, despite the firm going into administration.

David Billingham aged 40, from Halesowen in the West Midlands was working as a caster for G Clancey Ltd, based in Mogul Lane, Cradley, when he sustained serious injury to his right shoulder in an accident in October 2006.

The firm was a precision engineer for the car manufacturing industry making carburettors and pistons. Mr Billingham’s job involved casting iron moulds and part of his work included pushing a quarter of a tonne trolley full of molten iron on a track to fill mould on a conveyor belt. On the day of his accident at work, the tracks were laid incorrectly and as a result the trolley hit a machine called a weight remover as Mr Billingham was pushing it, causing him to damage his shoulder.

After his accident Mr Billingham was forced to take a week off work and can no longer lift heavy objects despite undergoing intensive physiotherapy.

The firm went into administration in August 2006 and in the following December staff were made redundant. Mr Billingham however, was still able to claim compensation for his injury at work. He decided to pursue his claim because despite similar accidents happening to his colleagues nothing had been done to fix the problem.

Mr Billingham said: “There had been a problem with this piece of equipment ever since it was installed and despite our continuous complaints nothing was ever done to fix it. By the time I had my accident I was so frustrated I decided that the only way to get the equipment fixed was to take legal action.”

He contacted the GMB officials who instructed the union’s solicitors, who were successful in securing a payout for Mr Billingham from the insurers of G Clancey despite the company having already gone into administration.

Mr Billingham added: “Unfortunately soon after the GMB instructed their solicitors the firm was wound up and we were all made redundant. I never expected to receive any compensation after we lost our jobs but they did a great job in securing a settlement from the insurers.”

A spokesman from the GMB, Joe Morgan said: “This case shows the importance of using the GMB’s free legal services. Without help from the union it would have been unlikely that David would have won compensation for his employer’s negligence.”

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