Moving heavy items in work
An amusement arcade worker who permanently damaged his shoulder and neck whilst moving a heavy games machine has received compensation from his former employers.
Martin Kennard, 58, from Goring by Sea, suffers from constant pain following the accident whilst he was assistant manager at Worthing Pier Amusements.
He was receiving a delivery of machines in July 2009 and was attempting to move a novelty London Bus game when he felt a sudden pain in his shoulder. The game weighed about ½ a tonne and was so heavy it had crushed a metal floor plate causing the machine’s wheel to get trapped.
Never been given manual handling training
Mr Kennard had worked at the amusements for 16 years, including 11 years for the current owner. He had never been given manual handling training but he was asked to receive deliveries regularly and was expected to move them to ensure the arcade was safe for customers.
Following the accident he was told the accident had brought forward pre-existing problems with his shoulder by five years.
His trade union, the GMB, advised him to contact their lawyers Thompsons Solicitors which investigated a claim for compensation.
Worthing Pier Amusements admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for a substantial sum.
At least two trained people should have been present to help with deliveries
Mr Kennard said: “I had moved machines around in my job as best I could. I had to but I had never been trained how to do so safely. It was a case of get on with it and get them out the way to avoid a customer having an accident. My employers never thought about what would happen if I was injured.”
Richard Ascough, regional secretary at the GMB said: “Arcade machines are heavy pieces of equipment. This wasn't a one man job, the owner of the business should have made sure that at least two people were present to help with deliveries and that they had training in manual handling. It is no surprise that Mr Kennard ended up badly injured when his bosses allowed unsafe practices like this to become a common occurrence.”
Sarah Lawrence from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Kennard’s safety was put at risk by his employer’s expectation that he could carry out heavy manual handling tasks like this on his own. Mr Kennard has to live with a long term disability and his employers have to pay out. It would have been so much cheaper to have another member of staff for deliveries and have them trained in manual handling.”
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