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A serious hand injury sustained during an accident at work may entitle the injured man to compensation for his injuries; becuase the accident was not his fault.
The unnamed man lost parts of three fingers when his left hand got trapped in a forklift truck while he worked for PRF Engineering at its base in Skelmersdale in May last year.
At the time of this accident, the 36-year-old was helping to move a metal sheet measuring three metres in width in the depot and he was standing on top of the material along with a colleague in order to stabilise it on the prongs of the forklift.
However, as the sheet was lowered it caught and trapped his hand, leading to his life-changing injury.
The employee was taken to hospital by ambulance immediately after the accident, but even though doctors were able to reattach the severed fingers, he has since only been able to regain partial use of his hand.
An investigation conducted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that PRF had failed to conduct a proper assessment of the hazards its employees could face while carrying out this job.
During a hearing at Ormskirk Magistrates' Court, the HSE insisted the company should not have allowed members of staff to use the vehicle's forks as a standing platform and instead provided them with an alternative way of transporting the metal.
Imran Siddiqui, inspector at the HSE, said this forklift accident was preventable and that it should have been "obvious" that such a method was unsafe.
"This incident resulted in an employee suffering permanent damage to his left hand because not enough thought was put into his safety," he added.
PRF subsequently admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was issued with a fine of £6,000, meaning the injured man could now opt to pursue damages for his ordeal.
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