Machine operators can face many hazards in their work, particularly if the correct training is not given, safety guards are not in place, protective wear is not provided or there is a lack of supervision.
Many machine related accidents occur when operators are cleaning or unjamming machines. Often there are no set procedures in place for doing so, which puts workers at a real risk of injury.
Merseyside based Emboss (Europe) was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker lost three fingers in a printing machine accident.
Cheryl Bridge was cleaning the printing machine with a cloth, which got caught between the rollers. Her right hand was pulled into the machine and was crushed between the rollers. The worker suffered serious hand injuries which led to the loss of her little finger, and two other fingers were severed below the second joint.
The HSE investigation found that no guard was in place and that the machine was often cleaned whilst being operated at full speed.
HSE inspector John McGrellis said: "The risk of fingers, hair or clothes being pulled in between rollers is well known in the manufacturing industry so it's vital that firms take the proper safety precautions." The firm was fined £30,000 plus costs and no doubt the injured worked will be pursuing a claim for compensation.
Golf club accident leads to serious hand injuries for green keeper
In Warwickshire, a green keeper at a golf club suffered serious hand injuries when he attempted to unjam an industrial ball washing machine. His left hand was pulled into the rotating parts, causing him to lose part of his index finger and sustain injuries to his middle and ring fingers. The golf club was fined £26,000 plus costs and £5,000 in compensation after it was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws.
Michael Coker, environment spokesman for Warwick District Council, said: “This incident demonstrates that companies who use dangerous machinery must ensure that such equipment is maintained in a safe condition, and that staff are properly trained in their safe operation. Any equipment with moving parts has the potential to cause a serious injury to the person using it.”
Compensation for severed finger injuries
Compensation awards for lost or seriously injured fingers and hands vary depending on the severity of the resulting effects. For those who lose the use of their writing hand, awards will be higher. Payouts awarded consider loss of amenity, dexterity and the overall effect on lifestyle, and the ability to work or carry out everyday tasks, as well as any treatment required and loss of earnings.
Stephensons’ accident claims lawyers have helped many workers injured in machine related accidents to claim the compensation they deserve and need to help them cope financially should their injuries prevent them from working. To discuss your case with one of our friendly experts, call us on 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney