A Manchester firefighter has recently won a successful personal injury claim for compensation after a rogue fibre in a pair of gloves managed to damage a tendon in his finger when he was wearing them, supposedly for protection.
Greater Manchester Fire Services (GMFS) paid the firefighter £5,000 as a compensation payout for the injury. In the last three months alone, the fire service has paid £150,000 in compensation payments to firefighters for different sorts of injuries that they have sustained while on duty in the last three months.
GMFS officials said such claims were a fact of life due to the risks encountered by firefighters in the course of their duties. Improvements over time to fire fighting equipment and training sessions have seen a marked reduction in the total amount of compensation paid.
Publicly available information indicates that the GMFS paid 18 firefighters compensation for an assortment of claims from burns triggered by exposure to hot fat to scalding encountered when having a hot shower.
One claimant received £20,000 pounds after a burst hose pipe propelled him through the air, which inflicted serious damage to his knee. Anther claimant won £6,000 compensation after he banged his head while boarding a fire truck.
The biggest personal injury payment was for over £25,000 after a sheet of metal hit a fireman’s neck and shoulders.
A further compensation payment of £15,000 was made to a firefighter who fell into an inspection pit after a temporary bridge collapsed. A further 18 claims from firefighters are still to be settled.
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer stated that there has been a 45% drop in firefighter injuries since 2006, but injuries are inevitable as workers who are employed by emergency services take calculated risks in their roles of saving lives and property.
The Fire Brigades Union representative, Kevin Brown, said that every effort is being made to reduce the occurrence of injury situations and the necessity to pay out compensation for injuries that were not the fault of the firefighter and he pointed out that providing compensation was a safety net for those fire fighters that lose time off work to recover from work induced injuries.