An HGV driver employed by the London Borough of Harrow has been awarded compensation following an accident which left him with part of his finger amputated. Neil Beard, 49, brought the claim with the assistance of his union, UNISON, and the legal expertise of Thompsons Solicitors.

At the time of the accident in April 2006, Mr Beard and a colleague were emptying some large bins full of trade waste from the rear of a pub. There was no dropped kerb for the bins to be manoeuvred down and no ramp had been provided by the employer. As the men were attempting to manoeuvre the bin down the kerb the wheels turned and the bin moved towards Mr Beard, trapping and breaking one of his right fingers.

Neither of the men had received training for this type of situation and there were no protective guards in place on the lorry to prevent the bins from colliding with it.

"This was an unfortunate incident where several factors combined to leave Mr Beard with no option but to have part of his finger amputated," said Angela Smart, Mr Beard’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors. "The employer admitted liability, although we had to fight to ensure that Mr Beard was properly compensated for his injuries and the cosmetic disfigurement of his hand."

Mr Beard said: "The insurers made initial offers which Thompsons advised I should reject. We eventually issued court proceedings and they decided to provide the right level of damages for the pain and injury that I’d suffered. Thompsons kept me informed throughout and I’m very pleased with the speed and outcome."