Factory worker receives compensation for laceration injury through Unite Legal Services

A factory worker who suffered a deep laceration to his right index finger in an accident at work has received compensation with the help of Unite Legal Services.

The member, who was employed at a packaging manufacturer in Bristol, was trying to place a 350kg reel of polythene onto a print machine when the accident occurred.

The member pointed out to his manager that the reel was too big to fit in its designated holder, but his manager told him to carry on. When he was unable to place the reel, he had to move it to another holder on the machine and as he did so the reel caught a section of the machine, triggering the emergency trip mechanism. 

As the reel was being repositioned, a colleague turned on the machine which caused the reel to rotate and cut into the member’s right index finger, and in doing so he suffered a laceration injury. 

He needed two weeks off work and stitches in the finger. On his return, the member wore a glove to protect the wound but it still became infected and he needed antibiotics.

He continues to suffer with numbness in his finger and doesn’t have full range of motion in his hand. 

As a member of Unite, he was able to pursue a claim for compensation through Unite Legal Services.

He said: “I told my manager that the reel was too big to place on the machine, but he wouldn’t listen. As soon as I heard the machine start up, I tried to move my finger but it was too late. It sliced straight through my finger, which was agonising. My injury affected a planned holiday and for months I couldn’t do any of my hobbies, such as golf, because the pain was too intense.

“I’ve been told the numbness in my finger will slowly disappear over time, but if my manager had actually listened to me in the first place then the accident would never have happened. Unite Legal Services was great – it made sure that my employer was held accountable for what happened to me.”

Stuart Davies, regional legal officer for the Unite South West region, said: “A catalogue of errors has led to our member suffering a painful injury that affected his work and social life for months. His manager should have understood the risk of putting such a heavy reel on the machine in the first place, and his colleague should have been aware of his close proximity to the machine and should never have switched it on without checking.

“Although our member has largely recovered from the incident, the scarring remains. By choosing to bring his claim through Unite Legal Services, we made sure that the negligent employer was held to account and that our member kept 100% of the compensation secured for him.”