Workman breaks his thumb in accident at work

A workman who broke his thumb in two places due to an accident at work has won his claim for personal injury compensation and been awarded £6,000 in damages.

Anthony Lacey, aged 59, from Coalville, Leicestershire, was left in severe pain when the accident at work occurred at Camas UK Ltd in May 2007.

Mr Lacey, who was an engineer for the company, was requested to replace the face plates on the company’s machinery. However he was unaware that new working practices had been introduced at the building material supplier’s Bardon Hall site.

The face plates are used to protect the machinery and are held on by heavy magnets which are glued to a pad. It had been correct practice for the glue to be used around the circumference of the pad meaning full strength was needed to crowbar the pads off.

But Mr Lacey hadn’t been told the procedure had been changed to use glue at only the top and bottom. His employers had failed to issue him with the correct training of the new procedures. As a result when he tried to crow bar the pad off the magnet it came away more easily than he had been expecting causing the magnet to fall on his thumb breaking it in two places. He had to undergo surgery on his hand and was forced to take three months off work due to the injuries he sustained.

After the accident at work occurred, Mr Anthony Lacey contacted his union GMB who then helped him to start legal proceedings to claim personal injury compensation for the injuries he sustained. Mr Lacey has commented on the accident and said: “We had been having problems getting the pads off the magnets and had been using full force with a crow bar to get them off. I couldn’t believe it when it came off straight away. It was agonising and my thumb still niggles now. No-one had warned me that these pads had been glued on in a different way.”

Andy Worth from the GMB added: “It is unacceptable that Mr Lacey was not forewarned about the new method. This accident could easily have been avoided with proper procedures to tell employees about new working practices.” Camas UK admitted liability and settled the claim out of court awarding Mr Lacey £6,000 compensation.

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