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Too fat to work: The 30st man doctors say is a risk in case he topples over and crushes his colleagues

 

Last updated at 7:03 PM on 6th September 2010

 

* Obese father fights for benefits after being laid off

 

article-1309407-0B0E9408000005DC-686_468x713.jpg

 

A morbidly obese father has been diagnosed as too fat to work by doctors who fear his weight may cause him to fall over and crush his colleagues.

 

Barry Fowers, 51, who weighs a life-threatening 30 stone, worked until October last year assembling industrial power source equipment.

 

But insurance analysts decided he was too big a risk to himself and to others and Mr Fowers reluctantly accepted voluntary redundancy.

 

Mr Fowers - who had a heart attack when he was 30 and has been warned another would kill him - is furious that he is still classified as fit to work despite his poor state of health.

 

Among his ailments are angina and other heart problems, diabetes, back trouble and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

He was initially granted incapacity benefit and has a doctor’s sick note, but does not qualify for Employment and Support Allowance worth around £75 a week. Instead, he receives Jobseeker’s Allowance, which has just been reduced to £21.65 a week.

 

Mr Fowers, who worked for ten years at Crestchic in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, said: 'I had to climb onto platforms about a metre from the ground to get to the equipment and install parts.

 

'They were worried I might pass out through my diabetes and have a hypothyroidism, or have a heart attack.

 

'The insurance people came in and did an assessment after I had a little incident. I tripped and fell over and I was off work for a few weeks.

 

'I had an interview with a medical person and I told them about all my different ailments. They sent a report back to work, and I had a meeting with the managing director while I was still off work.

 

'They said my weight was a danger to myself and to others in case I fell off a platform while I was working.

 

'Because I was having a lot of time off for medical reasons, I was edged towards voluntary redundancy.'

 

Both Mr Fowers's parents were diabetic and his mother suffered serious heart problems.

 

For the past six months, Mr Fowers has been getting by on £65.45 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, as of August 24 he was informed his allowance was reduced to £21.65, as he is only entitled to 186 days of National Insurance .

 

'I’m having to accept that I may never work again,' he said, 'but I’ve paid tax and National Insurance for 34 years and I think the country should do something in return.'

 

Mr Fowers's wife Shirley works as a part-time carer and their income is jointly assessed. His unemployed son Peter, 29, lives at the family home in Hatton, Staffordshire.

 

Mrs Fowers said: 'One of the main reasons he volunteered to take the pay-off was because he was classed as a potential danger to himself. Also, he was a potential risk to his work colleagues in case he fell on them.

 

'Some days, his IBS can be so severe he can’t make it upstairs and I have to stand my husband in the shower and wash him down.'

 

She added: 'I can’t afford to keep him. I may as well pack my husband’s bags and chuck him on the street.'

 

Mr Fowers is currently seeking work, but has had no response from the job applications he has filled in.

 

He said: 'Some of the applications asked "Have you got medical conditions?" and I’ve filled it in that I’ve got a heart condition and diabetes, and that does go against me.

 

'It does get you down. I have tried dieting, exercising and lifestyle changes.

 

'I have been offered the possibility of having a gastric band or bypass fitted but I’m a bit dubious about surgery. With my heart condition I think if I went under the knife I might not wake up.

 

'I may only live another three years.'

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1309407/The-30st-man-work-case-topples-crushes-colleagues.html

:eek:

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      [/url]
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