Consequences of losing the tip of a finger can be considerable. This is actually one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body. We rely on our hands at all times, therefore the knock-on effect of damage to this part of the anatomy can be immense. It can take considerable time to recover from an amputation and psychological trauma will take even longer to shake off. There are obvious risks for anyone who is using machinery containing moving parts such as guillotines in print shops. But accidents can also happen in mundane settings. A fingertip can be lost in the most innocuous situation.
Where workers are using equipment with sharp blades, the potential for slicing off digits should have been identified during risk assessment and appropriate safeguards recommended. This will cover everything from comprehensive training for all staff using the apparatus, to making sure that guards are in place that will stop the machine from operating if hands have been placed in sensitive areas. Making sure that people do not come to harm from doors is harder to achieve. But if there is even the slightest suspicion that a door’s swing you could catch fingers, then it must be dealt with. Joiners should fix the hinges to ensure a safe motion.
Can these accidents lead to redress?
Losing the tip of a finger is extremely traumatic. In certain situations it might be possible to save the digit, provided the amputated portion can be retrieved and held in ice until a paramedic team arrive.
In any situation there will be questions asked. The action that will then be taken will depend on the environment. In a factory, the machine that caused the accident will not be used until it is thoroughly overhauled in terms of safety requirements, and the guards are checked.
Do you have grounds to make a claim for compensation?
No one expects to lose a digit in the course of a day’s work. If you think that this was down to someone else’s negligence, it is only natural that you will feel aggrieved.
The next logical step should then be to investigate the possibility of a compensation claim.
We would urge you to get all the information you can from a legal expert – and Accident Advice Helpline has been doing exactly this for over 14 years.
Phone 0800 689 0500 for no-obligation advice.
Date Published: April 8, 2015
Author: Rob Steen