Worker maimed in work crush accident
A worker who was employed for 20 years at a company located in Dundee in Scotland was injured in a workplace accident that resulted in the loss of two of his fingers. Staff in Harlow, Essex, may be aware of the dangers of working with heavy machinery and the need to follow safe procedures no matter how familiar they are with the equipment. The Dundee-based company was found to have been guilty of failing to follow the appropriate procedures and was held responsible for the accident.
The man suffered his injuries after a co-worker asked him to assist on the operation of a piece of equipment that he was not fully familiar with. The co-worker activated the press at the moment that the man was testing the temperature of the plates on the veneer press. Four fingers on his hand were crushed in the machinery and the worker was hospitalised. The injuries were so severe that doctors were forced to amputate two of his fingers and performed surgery on the remaining fingers.
The accident occurred just before Christmas in 2014 and the man, who was employed as a joiner, was covering for the regular operators of the equipment. He had only received training on the machinery in 1997 and his employers had failed to provide all of their staff with adequate instructions on the operation of the machine. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined £5,000 by the sheriff.
Employers are required to ensure that their operations are carried out in a safe manner. A solicitor experienced in cases that involve unsafe workplace conditions may be able to assist a victim of an accident to show that the employer failed in its duty of care and to negotiate compensation for the injuries that have been sustained.