Ferryhill native John Houston, aged thirty nine, had been working a the Hilton head office for Derek Parnaby Cyclones International Ltd at the time of the accident, according to personal injury claims specialists. Mr Houston had been in the midst of using a horizontal band saw without a safety guard to cut pieces of steel down to size for a frame when his left hand brushed up against the moving saw blade of the machine, resulting in the loss of three of his fingers.
Mr Houston endured several surgical procedures in unsuccessful attempts to re-attach his fingers throughout a week in hospital. As Mr Houston has been unable to resume his duties, AJL Safenet Ltd, his company, has since stopped trading.
The Government’s Health and Safety Executive conducted an investigation into the incident, revealing that Derek Parnaby Cyclones International Ltd employees had also been permitted to operate a differing band saw that was missing its adjustable guard, even though HSE inspectors had given advice to the contrary at an earlier date.
The firm, located in Chilton, was brought before Darlington Magistrates’ Court by the HSE for its role in Mr Houston’s injuries. Derek Parnaby admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act at the hearing and was given a £10,500 fine and also ordered to pay court costs of more than £3,260 as a result.
While Mr Houston has not yet announced if he will do so himself, many workers who sustain life changing injuries at work have gone on to successfully pursue personal injury compensation claims against their employers.