GMB member who lost four fingers in a horrific workplace accident and later had to have his thumb amputated has received a six-figure sum in compensation.

The 49-year-old, from Farnworth near Bolton was working as a waste disposal operative for Greater Manchester Waste Limited when his left hand was crushed in a machine in December 2005.

He was cleaning a machine used to separate waste but as he reached through an open hatch to clear it of debris his hand was crushed between its rollers.

The machine had still been running but he had been unable to tell as the room was dark and noisy.

Lost four fingers in accident and thumb was surgically amputated

His skin was stripped away from his hand and he lost four fingers. He had to undergo 14 operations and his thumb was amputated. He must now wear a prosthetic limb and is registered disabled.

He still works for the same company but is now employed in a lesser role directing people where to dump their waste.

Since the accident Greater Manchester Waste Limited has fitted skylights and additional lights to the area containing the machine. They have also fitted a new system allowing the machine to be operated manually when being cleaned.

The firm was fined £50,000 following prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

After the accident he contacted his union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Greater Manchester Waste Limited admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

He said: “I was placed in a dangerous environment by my employer and suffered horrific injuries which have had a devastating effect on me and my family. I could not have fought this case without the support I have received from my trade union and Thompsons Solicitors.

“I believe that all workers should join a trade union so their rights can be protected at work.”

A GMB spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Waste was prosecuted as a result this member’s accident and fined £50,000. However it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It was entirely foreseeable and entirely preventable. The poor standards on site meant that it was only a matter of time before a serious accident like this happened.

Imogen Wetton from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This man suffered a traumatic life changing injury. His accident demonstrates that dangerous machines can cause life-changing injuries. His life will never be the same and it is only right that he is compensated.”