Truth Legal was able to recover £75,000 for a gentleman who was seriously injured at his workplace when inspecting a woodworking machine.
A feeling like ‘an electric shock’
Michael*, our client, was the operator of an edge-banding machine – which is designed to add a thin band of wood to the edges of plywood sheets. The machine has various sensors, and several blades for cutting the edge band to the required length.
Michael had worked with the machine for the past 5 of his 16-year employment at the company, so he was experienced in operating it. For the last year, however, he had noticed the machine’s performance declining, including problems with the sensors and some blades which he was unable to change himself. He had asked his supervisors several times for the machine to be fully serviced but this had not been carried out.
On the day of the accident, Michael was operating the machine whilst his supervisor and the assistant supervisor were nearby. He noticed that something was wrong with the machine, as though the saw blade kept catching on something and making scraping noises.
His supervisor instructed Michael to lift up the machine so that the band could be realigned. Michael stopped the machine and also pressed a button to switch off the machine’s electrical supply. He thought that the assistant supervisor also pressed a button to stop the machine.
Michael lifted up the machine to access the band, but as soon as he did so, he felt a sudden sensation, which he described as being like an electric shock. When he looked at his right hand, he saw that two of his fingers had been cut off.
After the accident
The assistant supervisor provided first aid, and an ambulance was called. Unfortunately, Michael had to wait for over an hour and a half for the ambulance to arrive. He had lost most of his ring finger and half of middle finger on his dominant hand and the wounds required extensive stitching.
Later problems arose as a result. He had issues with gripping things and carrying out everyday tasks. He also began experiencing phantom pain from his fingers which were no longer there and suffered from nightmares about the accident.
How Truth Legal were able to help
Truth Legal arranged physiotherapy to be funded through his claim and this focused on helping Michael to grip with and use his injured hand.
Michael’s compensation will provide financial support for the adjustments to his new reality.
Hopefully, the claim also proved instructive for Michael’s employers, encouraging them to adopt higher safety and machine maintenance standards across their operation. As a consequence, it is also hoped that this will avoid any similar accidents from occurring in future, so that none of the company’s other workers have to go through the traumatic experience which Michael did.
Have you had an accident at work?
If you have suffered an injury at work, and you believe your employer should have done more to prevent it, speak to our expert personal injury lawyers today.
*All names have been changed to maintain the confidentiality of our client