Employer fined over workers hand injury

David Taylor, 55, suffered partial amputation to all fingers on his left hand when it was pulled into the hook of a crane he was operating.  Mr Taylor was using an overhead crane to lift heavy equipment when it slipped out of the straps that had been placed around it.  The equipment started to fall towards Mr Taylor, who raised his left hand to protect himself.  His hand became entangled in one of the straps and was pulled into the crane’s hook.  Investigation showed that chains rather than straps should have been used to lift the equipment, but no chains had been available on the day.


Mr Taylor lost all of his little finger, most of his ring and middle fingers, the tip of his index finger and half of his thumb on his left hand in the incident.  He said “It’s been tough dealing with what happened to me. My injuries prevented me from doing simple things like getting dressed or driving. I had to go to the hospital four or five times a week after the incident, and eventually was diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder as well. I’ve now had my big toe amputated and attached to my hand in place of my thumb, which has really helped and means I can pick things up again. I just hope manufacturers improve their health and safety systems so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. They need to listen to their employees’ concerns and make sure they provide the correct equipment for the job.”


HSE found that the company did not have a safe system of work in place for moving heavy equipment, and fined them £80,000.  It was found that no risk assessment had been carried out for moving such equipment; furthermore and Mr Taylor had received no proper training on use of the equipment.


Following the decision HSE inspector, Ian Betley, said “This employee has suffered severe injuries to his left hand that will affect him for the rest of his life due to the company’s poor safety system for using the crane.  If the tool had been properly secured before being lifted then his injuries could have been avoided.”

Melanie Lidstone-Land, Associate and Personal Injury specialist at Swain & Co Solicitors says, “It is vital to ensure that companies have adequate safety systems in place to protect workers in potentially dangerous environments.”


If you have suffered an injury that was not your fault, either in a road traffic accident, at work or from a trip or fall, you could be entitled to compensation.

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