GMB member who damaged his shoulder in a workplace accident has received compensation despite his employers going into administration.

David Billingham, 40, from Halesowen in the West Midlands received £3500 after injuring his right shoulder while working as a caster for G Clancey Ltd, which was based in Mogul Lane, Cradley Heath.

The firm was a precision engineer for the car manufacturing industry making carburettors and pistons. It went into administration in August 2006 and is still being wound up.

David’s accident happened in October 2006 just a few months before the staff were made redundant.

Similar accidents had happened in the past

David was responsible for casting iron moulds and part of his job included pushing a ¼ of a tonne trolley full of molten iron on a track to fill moulds on a conveyor belt. The tracks were laid incorrectly and as a result the trolley banged against a machine called a weight remover as David was pushing it, causing damage to his shoulder.

He was forced to take a week off work and underwent intensive physiotherapy. He can no longer lift heavy objects.

He decided to pursue compensation because despite similar accidents happening to his colleagues nothing had been done to fix the trolley’s tracks.

He 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 that I decided that the only way to get the equipment fixed was to take legal action.”

Compensation recovered even though the employer was in administration

He contacted the GMB officials who instructed the union’s lawyers Thompsons Solicitors which was successful in bringing a claim against G Clancey’s insurers even though the employer was in administration.

David added: “Unfortunately soon after the GMB instructed Thompsons 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 Thompsons did a great job securing a settlement from the insurers.”

Joe Morgan from the GMB 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.”

Emma Carver from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It is shocking that staff members had complained to their bosses about this dangerous piece of equipment yet nothing was done to make it safe. It is only right that Mr Billingham is compensated for his injury.”

This news story was also published by Halesowen News.