A WORKER who lost part of a finger in an industrial accident has won £25,000 in compensation.
Gordon Cranney had to have part of his middle finger on his left hand amputated and needed a skin graft after suffering severe burns following the accident.
It happened when the 55-year-old production operative got his hand trapped inside a machine at TMD Friction, on Hartlepool’s Oaksway Industrial Estate.
He was unable to work for six months and has been left disabled for life.
Mr Cranney said: “Even now, three years after it happened, I am constantly reminded of my disability.
“Having half a finger means I struggle to grip things, feel numbness in what is left of my finger and get quite a lot of pain if I accidentally knock it.
“I am back at work now, but I’m worried about my future job prospects because I often drop bolts and screws which people could see as carelessness when it’s down to my disability.”
He thanked his union Unite who helped him to launch a personal injury claim through Thompsons Solicitors.
Mr Cranney was trying to release a jammed brake pad when his left hand got trapped in the machine.
His solicitors insist the machine’s power should have automatically disconnected when it was opened leaving him free to manually release the jam.
But they say the safety mechanism failed and the pad was pulled inside, trapping his hand.
Mr Cranney suffered severe burning to three fingers and needed a skin graft.
He had to have part of his finger amputated because of the severe nerve damage he suffered.
Thompsons say TMD, which is a global manufacturer of brake friction material, tried to deny the broken safety mechanism could have caused such serious injury, leading Mr Cranney to contact his union.
Karen Reay, from Unite, said: “Mr Cranney will be disadvantaged for life due to an accident which could have been avoided.
“Maintaining work equipment and ensuring that staff are properly trained, especially when operating machinery, should be bread and butter to a big employer like this.
“I’m glad we were able to successfully conclude this case for our member and I would like to thank Thompsons for their involvement.”
TMD Friction declined to comment when contacted by the Mail.