A keen footballer who broke his leg when he slipped on ball bearings has received £9,500 in compensation.

GMB member Kevin Fullard Junior, 23, from Barrow in Furness was forced to take nine weeks off work following the fall in which he broke his left leg below his knee.

He was working as a painter at the BAE Systems site in Barrow for subcontractor Barrier Limited when the accident happened.

The ball bearings - used as shot blast to create smooth surfaces on metal - rolled from the paint shop into the toilet across the corridor. When Kevin went to the toilet he didn’t notice the debris and slipped.

Torn Ligaments in Knee

Following the accident he underwent keyhole surgery on his left knee to fix torn ligaments.

Although Kevin has now returned to work full time he has missed an entire football season as a defender for Furness Rovers’ third team.

He contacted the GMB for advice following his accident. The union instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors, which has a drop-in clinic at the GMB’s Barrow offices.

Kevin said: “I had to take a long time off work as a result of this accident and I was only paid a fraction of my normal wages due to the amount of overtime I missed. I still suffer from pain and I’m not back playing football yet. I’ve missed the entire season which is frustrating when it is as a result of poor housekeeping.

“I decided to contact the GMB as I was concerned about the money I had lost. I also wanted to make sure that something was done to prevent anything similar happening to a colleague.”

Keeping a safe workplace must be paramount for employers

Thompsons secured an out of court settlement for Kevin after Barrier Limited admitted liability. The firm has also put procedures in place to make sure shot blast is contained within the correct areas.

Steve Gibbons from the GMB said: “We are pleased we have been able to support Kevin in his claim for compensation and working alongside Thompsons Solicitors we have been able to achieve safer working practices for Barrier’s employees.

“This case shows the importance of trade union legal services for members.”

Fiona Belgian from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Keeping a safe workplace must be paramount for employers, especially those working in heavy industries. A good housekeeping system is all it takes to ensure debris like shot blast doesn’t cause a hazard to employees.”