A serious accident at work has left a man without knuckles on one hand and in need of plastic surgery.
The kebab shop worker was trying to remove a piece of meat residue from a derinding machine that he was cleaning. His hand became caught in the equipment’s serrated roller which ended up rotating into his hand, causing severe damage, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.
Ethem Torunoglu, a 36-year-old from London, was left without knuckles on his right hand and with serious damage to his tendons and veins, plus the loss of flesh.
Mr Torunoglu was treated for 19 days in hospital and had to have three operations to reconstruct the hand.
Surgeons also took a large skin graft from one of his thighs. Since leaving hospital, Mr Torunoglu has had another two operations and is now waiting for plastic surgery.
He has been unable to go back to work since the accident and might be considering a personal injury claim.
A subsequent safety inspection of the kebab shop, in the Essex village of Latchingdon, revealed that Kismet Kebabs never had any guarding on the derinding machine and failed to make staff aware of the danger of using it.
This was despite the fact the company itself knew how potentially dangerous the equipment was to use.
The inspectors also established that training staff on how to use the machinery was inconsistent.
Fined for breaking law
Kismet Kebabs, based in Milton House, Maldon Road in Latchingdon, was given a £17,500 fine and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,500.
It admitted breaking the law under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, an admission which may help with any accident claim.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident was wholly avoidable.
“Ethem Torunoglu was failed by the company’s lack of proper training, inadequate assessment of risks and lack of effective measures to stop access to dangerous parts of equipment.
“From Mr Torunoglu’s point of view, his life has been destroyed.
“He is unable to go back to work. He is unable to use his hand and only has about 10% range of movement in it.
“His whole life has been affected and he relies on his wife for many of the tasks of daily living.”
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Date Published: October 8, 2013
Author: David Brown