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Our Workplace Accidents team secured a five figure sum for a man who had to have two fingers amputated after his hand was crushed in a machine accident at work.
Our client was working as a metal press operator at a plant in London when he was asked to complete an order to a tight deadline. The only way to get the order in on time was to disable the machine’s safety mechanisms so that our client could manually load the sheets of metal more quickly.
While he was removing one set of springs to load in the next metal sheet for pressing, the machine went into another cycle without warning and crushed his hand. Our client was rushed to hospital for an operation to try and save it, but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and two fingers had to be amputated.
He had to take five months off work to recover. When he returned, it was in a supervisory role, as he was unable to carry out the same work he’d been doing before. He began overusing his other hand, which made his existing arthritis worse and eventually forced him to retire two years later.
He approached us to see if we could investigate the circumstances of his accident and help him make a claim for compensation. Naturally he wanted to know if anything could have been done to prevent his injuries, which had left him with irreparable damage to one hand and cut short his working life.
When we first took on his case, the company denied responsibility for his injuries. However, our investigations showed that they failed to make sure appropriate safety mechanisms were in place and didn’t provide their employees with a safe system of work. In being told to disable the machine’s safety mechanisms so as to deliver a workload on time, our client had been exposed to an unnecessary amount of risk that would have a devastating effect on the rest of his life.
We secured a settlement of £45,000 – money not only to compensate our client’s pain and suffering, but also to help him access the support and rehabilitative care he needs to adapt to life without the full use of his left hand.
His case was handled by Peter Lorence, a serious injury lawyer specialising in Workplace Accident claims. Peter said: “Cases like this demonstrate how crucially important it is for employers to provide their staff with a safe working environment and ensure that corners are never cut, even when dealing with tight deadlines. Our client should never have been instructed to use the machine without the appropriate safety measures in place. The loss of his fingers has completely changed his life and his plans for the future. We’re pleased to have secured a settlement that will hopefully enable him to get the right support so that he can enjoy his retirement still.”
Our client said: “My injuries give me a lot of pain and mean I struggle with a lot of everyday tasks that people take for granted. Had it not been for the accident I would still be working now. I’d be planning my retirement for next year, looking forward to spending time on my hobbies. The damage to my left hand means I’ve had to retire early – and many of those hobbies I was looking forward to, I can’t do anymore.
I’m grateful to Irwin Mitchell for securing this settlement to help me access the funds I need for rehabilitation to help me come to terms with my injuries.”
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, our personal injury solicitors could help you make a No Win No Fee compensation claim. See our Accident at Work Claims page for more information.
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