Contractor loses two fingers, may make work accident claim

A self employed heating contractor may make a work accident claim against one county council after he lost two of his fingers whilst on the job, personal injury compensation experts recently reported.

John Shields, a sixty four year old trading as Shieldson Heating, had been working on behalf of Warwickshire County Council at the time of the incident, accident claims experts say, and was in Warwick’s Shire Hall, the council’s headquarters, in order to check the condition of a heating pump.  However, during his inspection of the device, one of his hands was caught between two running belts of the hot water pump, which resulted in the loss of two fingers just above the second knuckle.

The sixty four year old’s injuries have made the difficulty of carrying out many otherwise simple and everyday tasks quite high.  Mr Shield has also not been able to return to work as a result of his missing fingers, and he may be considering making a work accident claim against the council as a result.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident, finding that, at the rear of the device, there was inadequate safety guards set in place, resulting in hazardous moving parts of the pump being exposed.  The HSE prosecuted Warwickshire County Council at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court after their investigation, and after the local authority admitted to breaching health and safety regulations, it was given a fine of £7,000 and told to pay a total of £5,235 in court costs as well.

One inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, speaking in the wake of the court hearing, remarked that Warwickshire County Council’s failure to make sure that there was adequate guarding on the dangerous moving machinery was completely unacceptable.

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