A Hinckley factory worker has received more than £21,000 in compensation after lacerating his thumb on a piece of metal.

The 27-year-old was operating a machine used to cut sections of metal when he noticed that debris, known as swarf, had clogged up on a conveyor belt. To dislodge it, he put on a pair of thin gloves provided by his employer and used his hands, as shown by his manager.

As he did this, a piece of swarf wrapped around his hand and ripped through the glove, causing a deep cut to his right thumb that damaged his tendons and nerves.

The man needed six weeks off work following surgery to help repair his thumb and, despite the accident occurring more than three years ago, he still suffers with pain.

His employer has since provided workers with thicker Kevlar gloves to wear and a hooked pole to use when removing build-up of swarf.

Following the accident, he contacted Unite Legal Services who instructed accident at work specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate the claim.

The member said: “The work should have been simple but we often had trouble with excess swarf getting stuck in the machine. The way we were told to sort the problem was by wearing a thin pair of gloves and our hands to remove debris. We were never shown how to do it safely.

“When the accident happened, I was really frightened because I was bleeding heavily. Years later it still affects my day-to-day life; I find myself having to wear gloves whenever I work with my hands and I hate the fact that I can’t ride my motorbike because of my poor grip.

“It’s disappointing that it took the accident to prompt my employer to make changes, but with the safer procedures now in place, hopefully this won’t happen again.”

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Five minutes thinking the job through would have saved our member a huge amount of pain and he is now unable to carry out tasks and hobbies that he was previously capable of.

“Yes, his employer has addressed the problem now and we are pleased for that, but it shouldn't have needed the physical and financial strain that the injury put our member through for them to do that.”