Teenager suffers severe hand injury in accident at work

A 19 year old has suffered a serious hand injury in an accident at work.

Jack Ward, from Jarrow, was polishing a component on a manual lathe when his hand became caught in the machinery at Premier Precision Engineering Ltd in July 2012.

Mr Ward suffered a dislocated knuckle to his right hand as well as a broken index finger, which required surgery to pin and wire back into position.

He has not regained full use of his hand and requires a further operation to repair the damage.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm for safety failings.

Mr Ward was wearing gloves whilst he polished a component on the lathe with a strip of emery cloth looped around it.

As he worked, either the emery cloth or Mr Ward’s glove became entangled in the rotating part and pulled his right hand into the machinery.

The HSE found that Premier Precision Engineering Ltd had failed to adequately assess and control the risks associated with polishing the manual lathes and they also failed to provide a safe system of work.

There was inadequate information and training for workers, who should have been advised not to wear gloves when working on machines with rotating parts.

HSE inspector, Fiona McGarry, says that the serious injuries Mr Ward sustained should not and need not have happened.

She says that too many workers get tangled on manual lathes and many of the incidents involve the use of emery cloth.

Vicki Wright, specialist personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co, says, “Accidents at work can have a devastating impact on people. In this case, a teenager has suffered a serious injury to his hand that seems to be very painful, as well as possibly affecting his ability to work as he has not regained full use of his hand. His employers failed in their duty to protect him.”