Trainee Mechanic Whose Hand Was Damaged In Machine Fears For His Future Career

Expert Serious Injury Lawyers Secure An Admission Of Liability Paving Way For Settlement To Be Agreed


A machine operator suffered serious injuries after his hands were caught in a cabling machine at work has reached a legal milestone in his case after his employers admitted liability for his injuries allowing expert lawyers to work on securing a settlement to aid his recovery.

James Talbot, from Blandford Forum, in Dorset, suffered multiple fractures and lacerations to his hands and amputation of the tip of his left thumb after they were shredded whilst he was operating a cabling machine on 1 November 2013.

The 19-year-old began working at Concept Cables Ltd in December 2011 whilst he was applying for a mechanic apprenticeship after leaving college. As he was feeding a cable into a machine, a wire wrapped around his left thumb and James says he ‘heard his bones being crushed’ as his hand was pulled into the machine. He could not reach the safety “stop button” and resorted to trying to pull his left hand out of the machine using his right hand. In doing so his right hand also became injured. He eventually removed his left hand from the machine and was then given first aid at the scene. 

James instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his case to see if more could have been done to prevent the accident and to secure a settlement to help with his rehabilitation from injury. Irwin Mitchell has now secured a full admission of liability from Concept Cables Ltd for the accident paving the way for James’ legal team to calculate a fair settlement to cover his loss of earnings, future treatment needs and the pain and suffering caused.

James had been assigned the wrong machine for the job he was doing, there was also no guard on the machine to prevent any accidents and the ‘stop’ button was also moved.
Expert Opinion
The injuries James sustained from the cabling machine were horrendous and his case shows the importance of employees not only receiving sufficient training and supervision to operate machinery but also being provided with the correct equipment so they are not left facing the risk of injuries such as James has suffered at such an early stage to his career.

“Thankfully his employers have recognised the severity of his injuries and the long-term impact these will have on his life and we are now working with them to agree a fair settlement to reflect this and help with his rehabilitation. He will need ongoing treatment and it is possible that he will no longer be able to pursue his dream job of becoming a mechanic.”
Ruth Johnson, Associate
James’s hands were badly crushed in the accident and he was losing a lot of blood. He was taken by an ambulance to Salisbury Hospital where he was given an x-ray which confirmed the tip of his left thumb had been amputated, he had multiple fractures to his hands and the skin had been ripped off his left index finger.

A few days after the accident James had a skin graft to repair the damage to his hands and to ensure that both hands were free from debris. His girlfriend and her family had to help James with daily tasks such as dressing, feeding and personal grooming, as both of his hands were injured in the accident. Since the accident James has been unable to pursue his interests in cycling and car maintenance. 

James said: “I remember the accident vividly; as my hand was pulled into the machine, I could hear the bones crushing as it went through. I was screaming out in pain for someone to help me, but the noise inside the factory was very loud and no one could hear me.

“I frantically tried to reach for the “stop” button, but I couldn’t reach it. I then tried to pull my left hand out with my right but my other hand also got caught. My supervisor noticed I was in difficulty and stopped the machine and opened it up to free my hands.

“I am devastated that the damage my hands may stop me from becoming an a mechanic, I trained for two years and I have wanted to do this job since I was a child, but I don’t think I will have the dexterity in my hands to undertake the work so I now need to consider an alternative career.

“Reaching this legal milestone is a massive relief and it now means that I will have some support for further treatments and rehabilitation to help me make the best possible recovery from my injuries. I just hope the firm makes some improvements to the safety for people using the machine so that others don’t have to suffer in future.”

If you've suffered a serious broken or fractured bone injury at work, our specialist serious injury solicitors could help you to claim compensation. See our Broken Bone Or Fracture Claims page or Workplace Accident Claims page for more information.