A 30 year old man lost his fingers in an accident at work involving an unguarded machine.
Shaun Newcomb, from Bourne, was working in Sewstern, Lincolnshire in March 2012 when the accident at work occurred.
He was attempting to clear some blocked wood from the conveyor. As he did so, his right hand came into contact with the sprockets and chains that drove the belt. This caused him to sever parts of his middle, ring and little finger.
Mr Newcomb had to undergo two operations, physiotherapy, cell generation and counselling. He was unable to work for nine months. He is now employed at a different company as he did not wish to return to the scene of the accident at work.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the conveyor had been supplied by Armistead Engineering Ltd a few months prior to the accident at work, but they had not provided adequate guarding.
Vicki Wright, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co says, “This accident at work could have easily been avoided if the conveyor supplier had not failed in their duty to ensure that the machinery was safe to use. Adequate guarding should have been supplied with the machine to ensure that workers could not access dangerous, moving parts.”
Mr Newcomb has described how his injuries have had a life changing impact to him and his family:
“After it happened I felt agitated and kept losing my temper easily which was out of character for me. I went through a stage where I didn’t want anyone to see my hand. I would keep it in my pocket whenever I went out and if I was in a shop I would give my wife the money to pay as I didn’t want people talking about it.”
“I used to fish regularly and play pool and darts. I still can’t play darts as I can’t hold them properly but I’ve managed to adapt to play pool. I’ve had to relearn how to do things like tie shoelaces and use a knife and I’m limited in what types of job I can do. I can’t work in the cold as it affects my fingers and I have a lack of dexterity in them which means I struggle to do some parts of my job. I also struggle with lifting tasks as I can’t grip properly and only have limited strength in what grip I do have.”
“The incident affected my wife, who had to take time off work to look after me, and it also affected my children. My daughter wouldn’t come near me after it happened and won’t hold my hand now. My son is a bit older so understood more but was worried about hurting me and whether we could still play rough and tumble together.”