Obese man quits work over 'safety'
Published 07/09/2010 | 12:23
A 30-stone man who was too fat to work has left his job after being told he posed a health and safety risk to himself and his colleagues.
Barry Fowers, 51, who took voluntary redundancy from his manual employment as a fitter-assembler, admitted that if he fell on someone at work it would do them some damage.
He said: "I'm 6ft 2ins and diabetic. If I suddenly had a diabetic hypo and there was someone smaller standing next to me, it wouldn't do them any good if I fell on them."
And, he added, his weight was causing him problems at work - where he often had to climb on to platforms to carry out his tasks.
The father-of-one, who had a heart attack at the age of 30, said: "I've tried dieting, I've tried swimming, but the weight slowly crept up on me and is causing me pain in my back, hips and knees, my mobility was restricted and I was sometimes breathless.
"The company had to take advice from their insurers. They asked me questions and they had concerns.
"They said they needed to address my health and safety at work, how my conditions may affect the health and safety of others, and my sickness levels."
He decided to take the opportunity to leave his job of almost 10 years at the firm Crestchic Ltd in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and lose some weight.
He said: "I accepted it as necessary. I had got to the stage where if I didn't do anything I might have two years to live."
But Mr Fowers, from Hatton in Derbyshire, said he had been left with an unfair deal after his jobseeker's allowance was slashed to £21.64, due to the fact that his wife Shirley Fowers, 51, works part-time as a carer.