A Unite member from County Durham who suffered a deep laceration injury and nerve damage to his right hand in an accident at work has secured £75,000 in compensation.
Tool prep technician, Marc Jobes, was talking to a colleague in the tool room at a food packaging factory near Stanley when he lost his balance and put his hand on a work bench to steady himself.
Unbeknown to the 27-year-old, a set of blades had not been put away after use and, as he balanced himself, his right hand landed on a blade, cutting into him and damaging nerves in his hand.
Marc was treated by first aid staff before being taken to hospital where he had surgery. As a result of his injury, he had two months off work before returning on light duties. The accident happened four years ago, but he continues to suffer from numbness and cramp in his hand.
Marc contacted his trade union, Unite, to make a compensation claim.
He said: “In my line of work I have to use my hands all the time. Frustratingly, I have had pain in my right hand since the accident and I’ve been warned by doctors that my condition might get worse, which does make me very worried about whether I’ll be able to continue working in the future.
“Doing things like shopping and driving have become quite difficult but I’ve just had to grin and bear it. Thankfully, my union membership meant I had access to Unite Legal Services, who looked out for me and made sure I received money that can be put towards any future surgery or rehabilitation that I might need.”
Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “This employer failed to ensure that its staff followed basic health and safety protocols, such as putting away dangerous equipment after use, leaving employees vulnerable. Marc suffered a preventable injury that will have a long term impact on his life.
“As a member of Unite the union, Marc received expert legal support which meant he got the maximum compensation and kept 100% of that with no deductions.”