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Worker wins £150,000 for near fatal burns

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A HIGHWAYS superintendent who almost died after his feet were burned by hot asphalt has won a £150,000 compensation claim against Birmingham City Council.

David Bradbury was awarded the compensation in the High Court after the council was found liable for failing to provide proper protective footwear.

Council employee Bradbury suffered from diabetes which can hinder the ability to sense heat. Wearing ordinary shoes, his feet were severely burned after he walked on hot asphalt. He only became aware of the burns when he took off his shoes later.

The burns led to blood poisoning, a heart condition, kidney failure and psychological trauma. Bradbury retired on ill-health grounds in 1997 and sued the council through his union Unison.

'Employers are obliged under the Personal Protection Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 to provide safety equipment. As the largest local authority in the country, Birmingham City Council should have been aware of the regulations, ' said Warinder Juss who represented Bradbury.

The council said that it very much regretted Bradbury's injuries and that procedures had been changed to avoid a recurrence.

Contractor Costain has been fined £200,000 plus £12,400 costs at Cardiff Crown Court after a worker died on its Lynfi Valley sewer site in Bridgend.

Labourer Paul Davis, 31, employed by subcontractor Aberdare Construction, died in October 1999 when he was trapped between a wall and an excavator. Costain pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act.

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