A 17-year old worker at a factory in the West Midlands may be able to launch legal action against his employers after he severely injured his hand in an industrial accident.
The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, had his thumb, part of his little finger, and all of his remaining fingers severed after being asked to clean a moving saw blade by his line manager.
The factory that he worked for, JSF Stainless, is based in Brownhills, near to Walsall, and produces steel manufacturing products. The firm was recently found guilty of multiple serious health and safety failings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and was ordered to pay fines of £6,000 and costs of £13,000.
Separately, the company's director, Richard Lancaster, 35, was found guilty of health and safety breaches and was fined £2,000 with costs of £2,630.
According to the HSE, the 17-year old had never used the machine and did not know how to stop the blades from moving. He attempted to clean the blade regardless and injured his hand.
The young man has so far had nine operations on his hand, with surgeons managing to re-attach all of his lost digits.
He has since gone on to work at a different company.
A subsequent inquiry from the HSE found that the teenager should never have been asked to clean the equipment without prior training and guidance.
HSE inspector Eve-Marie Edwards said: "This incident should not have happened. A young man has suffered the painful trauma of losing his fingers and thumb. He has been left with a permanent injury that will affect him for the rest of his life. This was his first job."
Ms Edwards continued: "He was asked to clean the saw while the blade was moving by an experienced individual who knew better, and who should have ensured the machine was made safe. Appropriate supervision should have been provided throughout but was not."
The young man could potentially be entitled to a large claim against his former employers, both for lost earnings as well as damage to physical and emotional wellbeing.
Contact our employment solicitors on 0800 916 9060 or email email@example.com if you would like advice on any employment matter
Posted by Francesca Witney