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The 58-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he is still in serious pain and suffers from the psychological effects of the accident. His wife also is disabled and "this has caused huge problems", he said. He will not be able to work again.
The ex-worker said he hopes the publicity around his case will prevent the occurrence of similar workplace accidents.
Karen Reay, regional secretary of the UK's largest trade union Unite which helped secure the settlement, said: "While the headline figure appears large, it has to take into account the scale of the disability, the loss of possible future earnings, the need for special housing accommodation, the requirement for ongoing care and the provision of prosthetics for the rest of his life."
The £1.6m settlement for the injury is one of the biggest obtained by the union for a member in the Yorkshire, North East and Humberside area.
An employee of ITW was repairing a broken piece of plastic sheeting by rethreading it into the pinch roller. His gloved hand dragged into the rollers and was crushed. The index finger on his right hand had to be surgically removed because it was so badly damaged. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into the accident, which happened on 30 May 2012, found ITW had not properly guarded machinery along the length of the production line, despite having identified the risks.
As we reported last month, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued William Fry Fabrications (WFF) with an improvement notice in February 2011 after inspector James Caren found it had not thoroughly examined and inspected its lifting equipment as required by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). WFF had two cranes on site: an Elephant chain hoist with a 500 kg capacity used inside the warehouse; and a larger outdoor Cobal Goliath travelling crane which had a safe working load of 4 tonnes.
The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, was employed by Signode, a division of ITW, as an electrical maintenance engineer at its Swansea, Wales, site. On 30 May 2013 he offered to help on the polyester sheet production line after one of the five people who were supposed to be on shift called in sick. As he was rethreading plastic into the pinch roller, his glove was caught and the machine dragged in his right hand. He pulled his hand free but his index finger was so badly damaged it had to be surgically removed below the knuckle.
Natural Insulation (formerly Black Mountain Insulation) did not conduct an adequate assessment for processing hemp and failed to adequately guard machinery. The investigation was carried out following concerns raised anonymously.
Merthyr Tydfil-based Advanced Gate manufactured and installed a gate system for Personal Hygiene Services (PHS) in Caerphilly. It featured two leaves – the first was driven by a motor and it powered the second via a chain and sprocket.On 30 September 2014 a PHS employee went to close the gate manually after the mechanism failed. As he pulled one of the leaves, it detached from the runners and fell on him. A vertical rail struck his leg, resulting in severe trauma tearing muscle and nerves. He was hospitalised for ten days and off work for 12 months.
A Lander Automotive welder’s glove became caught in the drill bit of a machine he was working on and he suffered partial amputation to the third finger on his right hand. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into the 17 June 2015 accident found the company failed to provide adequate training, a safe system of work, a risk assessment or method statement. It said the worker was expected to work on a variety of jobs as required by production.