A GMB member who badly damaged his arm after moving a pipe in a power station has received £70,000 in compensation.

The 51-year-old suffered a ruptured bicep tendon meaning his bicep is now four inches further up his arm after he and his colleagues were transferring the pipe across the site. The pipe was lowered into a trench at a power station.

The member was standing in the trench when the pipe fell on his right arm. The shear weight of it caused the bicep to tear. The Middlesbrough-based pipe fitter needed to wear a sling for several weeks and had to take two months off work.

Surgery 18 months after the accident was unable reattach the tendon. He had to take another three months off work to recover from the failed operation.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

The GMB member now has pain and constant cramp in his right arm but is continuing to work as a contractor as best he can.

He said his injury means he cannot work as quickly as he used to and as a result he is not always chosen for the best paid jobs.

Following the accident he contacted the GMB which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

His employer admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Accident could have been avoided

He said: “I’m doing my best to continue working but it is painful and I know that I am much slower than I was. There will come a time when I have to give up the contracting work and look at taking on a lighter and less well paid job. At the moment I just can’t afford to take that type of pay cut so I am struggling on.

“I’m grateful to the GMB and Thompsons for helping me with my claim. This compensation will help a great deal.”

GMB Regional Organiser Tom Allison said: “Pipe fitters work in heavy industry where accidents can mean the difference between fit enough and out the door. As a result employers should be extra vigilant to ensure its staff are trained and protected from injury. With a bit of pre planning this accident could have been avoided.”

Nazia Quyoom from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Lowering a heavy pipe into a confined space without any risk assessment or planning seems unbelievable in an industry where accidents can have serious consequences. Our client has been left with an arm which will mean he has to make difficult choices about what he can and cant do for the rest of his working life.”