Injured worker awarded £8,000

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A council maintenance worker who took early retirement after his hand was crushed by playground equipment has won an £8,000 payout from his employers.

David Bleasdale, from Todmorden, was working for Calderdale Council in July 2009 when the accident happened.

The 55-year-old was loading heavy metal skateboard ramps on to the back of a lorry when one of the ramps fell and crushed his hand.

There had been no way of the ramps being secured during loading or transport.

Mr Bleasdale had to undergo surgery on his finger as a result of the accident, and metal pins had to be inserted to help him regain his dexterity.

He said: “The incident really took away my confidence. I can no longer grip as well with my hand and that’s had an impact on my life as well as meaning I have had to give up my hobby of indoor climbing.”

Mr Bleasdale, a member of the trade union Unison, was offered early retirement, which he took and was out of work for 11 months. He has since returned to work elsewhere, but he remains unable to return to manually handle heavy objects as the accident permanently affected his lifting and manipulating abilities.

John Cafferty, Unison Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary, said: “David has undergone a traumatic incident as a result of a negligent employer.
He still has pain in his hand and it is devastating that he has been unable to return to the work he used to do, as well as being forced to give up his climbing hobby. This case is a stark reminder
of how important it is for employers to ensure the safety of their staff.”

A Calderdale Council spokesperson said: “The council accepted liability and paid £8,000 to Mr Bleasdale in September 2013, having followed the usual legal process for civil claims.”