Compensation secured for Unite member seriously injured at work

A Leicestershire man, who needed an amputation and developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his hand was crushed at work, has received six-figure compensation.

Machine operator and Unite member Andrew Newbold, who worked for a firm in Coalville, Leicestershire, was clearing a blockage from a machine that makes corrugated board when his right hand became caught between two rollers. It was dragged into the machine and crushed.

The 56-year-old was rushed to hospital but the damage to his hand was so significant that doctors were forced to partially amputate it. Andrew remained in hospital for three weeks and, despite the accident happening in 2014, has been unable to return to work as a result of the physical and psychological trauma it has caused.

Andrew contacted Unite Legal Services to make a compensation claim.

He said: “The pain I suffered that day was indescribable. Out of work and having to cope with my amputation, I turned to Unite Legal Services, who guided me through the legal process. I felt like they had my back every step of the way.”

Following the accident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated Andrew’s employer, which had to alter its risk assessment policies and fit extra protective guards to the machines.

“What’s frustrating is that my employer tried blaming me for the accident until it was forced to make changes,” Andrew said. “I have no idea whether I’ll be able to go back to work but, even if I do, I’m going to be dealing with this injury for the rest of my life.”

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Our member suffered a painful and life-changing injury as a result of his employer’s failure to have proper guards on the machines, which is a basic health and safety requirement. This was an accident waiting to happen, and Andrew was on the unfortunate end of it.

“Unite Legal Services works hard to support members injured at work. In this instance we were able to secure a substantial settlement to cover lost earnings, as well as the physical and emotional distress that the injury has caused.”