GMB member who broke his thumb in two places in a workplace accident has received £6,000 in compensation.

Anthony Lacey, 59, from Coalville in Leicestershire was left in agony following the accident in May 2007 at Camas UK Ltd.

The engineer was off work for three months following the accident which happened after new working practices were introduced at the building material supplier’s Bardon Hall site.

Mr Lacey was asked to replace the face plates on the firm’s machinery. The face plates are used to protect the machinery and are held on by heavy magnets which are glued to a pad.

It had been correct practice for the glue to be used around the circumference of the pad meaning full strength was needed to crowbar the pads off.

Thumb broken in two places

But Mr Lacey hadn’t been told the procedure had been changed to use glue at only the top and bottom. As a result when he tried to crow bar the pad off the magnet it came away more easily than he had been expecting causing the magnet to fall on his thumb breaking it in two places.

Following the accident Mr Lacey contacted his union the GMB which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Camas UK admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Mr Lacey said: “We had been having problems getting the pads off the magnets and had been using full force with a crow bar to get them off. I couldn’t believe it when it came off straight away. It was agonising and my thumb still niggles now. No-one had warned me that these pads had been glued on in a different way.”

Andy Worth from the GMB added: “It is unacceptable that Mr Lacey was not forewarned about the new method. This accident could easily have been avoided with proper procedures to tell employees about new working practices.”

Laura Hadfield from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Employers have a duty of care to ensure the workplace is safe for employees, that includes making sure that employees are aware of new working procedures. This was a simple communication failure that had dramatic consequences for our client.”