Injured fitter forced to retire early17 September 2009
Accident at Work
Stanley Gibbons, 66, from Dagenham in Essex, was left with a damaged left shoulder after being forced to carry out heavy manual work despite warning his employers that he suffered from a frozen shoulder, a condition which leaves the shoulder painful and stiff.
After the warnings Mr Gibbons damaged his shoulder during two separate incidents in May and June 2005 when he was involved in working with heavy machinery in his job for European Metal Recycling Ltd (EMRL) in Dagenham.
Since the second accident Mr Gibbons has been forced to retire on medical grounds and has undergone several courses of intensive physiotherapy. He can no longer play golf or do anything that needs the use of both his arms.
Decided to make claim for compensation
Following the accident he contacted his union, Unite, which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Thompsons successfully argued that Mr Gibbons should have been placed on light duties after suffering from a frozen shoulder in 2004.
EMRL admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.
Mr Gibbons said: “I had hoped to work right up to retirement age but this accident meant I had to give up the job three years earlier than planned. I had told my employer about my frozen shoulder but I was never given the option of working on light duties. My workload remained the same as it always had been but my shoulder wasn’t up to it.
“I decided to pursue compensation because I had missed out on three years of income and pension.”
Injury could have been prevented
Unite regional secretary Steve Hart said: “Employers need to make sure that where heavy lifting work is involved that their employees are physically fit enough to cope with the demands of the job. Mr Gibbon's frozen shoulder meant he wasn't up to the job and when he told his employer about his injury he should have been given a role that was less demanding but, in fact he was ignored.”
Andrew Hutson from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Gibbons has been forced to give up his job much earlier than he had planned. And even his retirement has been marred by the fact that he can no longer enjoy his hobbies because of the pain in his shoulder. This could have been avoided had some sense prevailed.”
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