An injured worker could make a claim for personal injury after he lost three fingers in an accident at work.
The accident occurred on 6 February 2012 when a 27-year-old man was working at a social housing development in Lincolnshire. He was guiding a section of casing in that was to be placed by a rig operator. However, before he could remove his right hand from where the casing was to be placed the rig operator released the 500kg load, trapping his right hand. This resulted in three fingers from his right hand being completely severed – almost to the palm.
Optima Foundations Ltd was charged with single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 after an investigation was undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive. The company pleaded guilty to both of these breaches.
The matter came before the Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court on 10 July 2013. The Magistrates Court heard evidence that there was no safe system of work in place and that this had contributed to the risk factor for employees engaging in work of this nature.
After the guilty plea, the Magistrates’ Court fined Optima Foundations Ltd £15,000 and ordered it to pay a further £8,171 in costs.
It is not currently known whether the injured worker will claim personal injury in the courts.
HSE Inspector Mr Martin Giles commented after the prosecution: “There was no safe system of work for the tasks being undertaken by the injured person. Had the weight been properly positioned for the length of tube being inserted, and had there been a recognised and agreed method of communicating that it was safe to receive the weight, then the incident could have avoided completely and he wouldn’t have suffered such life-changing injuries.”
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