An engineer who lost his little finger in an accident at work has received £4000 in compensation.

Unite member Stephen Owen from Pesall has had to adapt to working without his finger after it was amputated following the accident at Bescott Construction Tools in Walsall.

The firm makes trolleys and wheel barrows for the construction industry.

Hand was pulled into machine

The accident happened while Mr Owen was grinding steel tubes. He was wearing leather welding gloves but the left little finger of the glove became caught between the grinding wheel and the steel tube pulling his hand into the machine.

He was able to stop the machine and pull his hand out but the damage had already been done.

His left little finger had to be amputated below the first joint.

Advised to make a claim for compensation

Mr Owen said: “I was in a lot of pain when the accident happened and I’ve found it difficult coping with the effects. I have always worked with my hands and at first it was frustrating getting used to the loss of my finger.

“I’ve now learnt to adapt and can do most things but just in a different way.”

Mr Owen contacted his union Unite following the accident who advised him to claim accident compensation. Unite instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors which settled the claim out of court for £4000 after Bescott Construction Tools admitted liability.

A guard on the machine could have saved the finger

Gerard Coyne from Unite said: “All workplace machinery risks should be comprehensively assessed and safeguards should be in place to avoid accidents.

“In this case a guard on the machine would have prevented access to the dangerous parts and could have saved Mr Owen’s finger.”

Victoria Kingscote from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Employers who allow machines to be operated without suitable and appropriate guards are ignoring basic health and safety principles. Mr Owen is trained to work with his hands and adjusting to life without his little finger will have been difficult. It is only right that he is compensated for his employer’s negligence.”