£554,404 for injury from machine with no safety guard

The male Claimant was awarded total damages of £554,404 after an injury sustained at work by an unguarded blade.

Accident circumstances

The Claimant was aged 20 at the time of the accident and was employed by the Defendant company. On the day of the accident he was carrying out required maintenance to a circular saw. Whilst doing so he stretched across the blade which caught his right arm. There was no safety guard on the blade.

The Claimant's arm was partially severed but unfortunately his arm could not be saved. A below the elbow amputation was therefore carried out to his right arm. The Claimant was right handed and therefore the removal of his dominant hand understandably had significant psychological consequences for the Claimant.

He was very embarrassed by his injury and this caused him to become depressed and withdrawn. He was diagnosed by experts as suffering with an adjustment order and therefore underwent counselling sessions with his doctor as well as sessions with a clinical psychologist.

He was unable to work due to both his physical and psychological injuries and relied heavily on his partner for assistance with many activities including personal hygiene.

The Claimant brought a claim against the defendant alleging that they were negligent in its health and safety duties as no guard was provided to cover the blade of the circular saw. The Defendant admitted liability but this was on the basis of the Claimant accepting fifteen percent contributory negligence.

Conclusion

An out of court settlement was agreed between the parties, the day before the court hearing, at £652,239.96. After the reduction of the fifteen percent contributory negligence this left a final award of £554,404.

No specific breakdown of the damages was agreed between the parties but it was estimated that £60,000 of the total damages was in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity