A welder who was forced to retire after he injured his back at work has received more than £37,000 in compensation.

Kevin Hartley, 63, from Sheffield needed surgery after the accident at Network RailInfrastructure in Sheffield.

He worked as a track welder for the firm for 34 years.

Slipped disc and damaged sciatic nerve

On the day of the accident he was lifting a heavy piece of equipment when he fell causing a slipped disc in his back and damage to his sciatic nerve.

He was off work for several months but after returning to light duties his condition became so bad he found it difficult to walk and he took early retirement.

He contacted his union the RMT to enquire about claiming accident compensation. The RMT instructed Thompsons Solicitors which was successful in settling the claim out of court.

Compensation will contribute towards medical costs

Mr Hartley said the damages will contribute to the cost of the private operation he needed on his back.

He said: "I worked in that job for over thirty years but I will never be able to return to it. On some days I find just sitting still difficult so I can't even do a desk job.

“This compensation comes as a great relief as it will pay for the private healthcare I received on my back. There was a long waiting list on the NHS and because I was in so much pain I decided it would be quicker to go private.”

Bob Crow from the RMT said: “Many of our members work in environments where moving heavy objects is a regular activity. Employers should be aware of the risks involved and should take appropriate action to avoid injuries.”

Tristram Sterry from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This employer failed to comply with manual handling regulations or conduct an adequate risk assessment on the task Mr Hartley was carrying out. As a result our client has been forced to retire early and will suffer from a debilitating back injury the rest of his life.”

This news story was also published by Sheffield Telegraph and The Star.