The lack of proper training left a paper cutter from Abertillery, Gwent, with serious injuries to one of his fingers after it became trapped in a machine which had no protective guard in place.

At the time of the accident, Mr Ian Brown, 25, was employed by Cardinal Packaging Ltd on the Rassau Industrial Estate in Ebbw Vale. With the support of Unite the Union, and Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff, Mr Brown secured compensation of £5,500.

On the 11th November 2005, Mr Brown was attempting to adjust the tension of paper on a paper rolling machine. There was no guard on the machine and as he tried to adjust the tension, his left ring finger became trapped between two rollers. His finger required a skin graft.

Andy Richards, Regional Secretary of Unite the Union in Wales, said: “Mr Brown had received no formal training and had not been shown any safe working procedures to handle the paper rolling machine properly. In any circumstances where employees are required to work with potentially dangerous pieces of equipment, they must receive proper training and suitable protection from the risk of injury.”

Mr Brown’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff, Petra Williams, said: “Mr Brown suffered a painful injury which required immediate and ongoing medical attention. He was off work for 11 weeks. The accident has left him with nerve damage in his finger and it’s unlikely that he will ever regain full sensitivity in it.”

Commenting, Mr Brown, said: “I was in a lot of pain, but looking back on it the accident could have been much worse. I had to have skin removed from my elbow and grafted onto my hand. Anyone using machinery in the workplace should be protected from accidents like this.”