Can I claim compensation for an injury caused by a machine guard in a factory? The machine guard gave way and I caught my hand in a belt drive and lost two fingers.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is possible to claim compensation for an injury caused by a machine guard in a factory, provided that you were not primarily responsible for the machine guard accident. The accident must also have been caused by the negligence of a third party and resulted from a failure in a duty of care if a factory machine guard injury claim is to be made.

Your employer owes you a duty of care to allow you to perform your job safely. Part of your employer’s duty of care involves performing risk assessments in the workplace to highlight potential health and safety risks to workers. Although machinery may have been safe when it was installed in the factory, the factory machinery must also be regularly checked for faults to ensure that it remains safe to use. If your employer has failed to check the factory machinery or has failed to spot a fault with the machine guard, his duty of care to you has been breached and his negligence will enable you to claim compensation for an injury caused by a machine guard in a factory which resulted from that negligence.

Not only must control measures such as safety guards be installed to protect employees from accidental injury by moving mechanical parts, but employees should also receive appropriate training to further reduce the risk of injury. If you are able to establish that your employer has been negligent by failing to train you on the correct use of the machinery, this too is an example of negligence and will allow you to claim compensation for an injury caused by a machine guard in a factory.

You should however speak with a personal injury solicitor for legal advice about claiming compensation for a machine guard injury. There is a chance that your employer or his insurance company may claim that you were partially responsible for the accident, and full liability may not be accepted. Should this be the case, you will still be able to recover finger amputation compensation for the factory machine guard accident, but any compensation award would need to take into account the degree to which you are deemed to have contributed to the accident by your own lack of care. If you were leaning on the machine guard and it broke for instance, this could be classes as contributory negligence on your part.

A solicitor is in the best position to advice you about claiming compensation for an injury caused by a machine guard in a factory and will give you specific legal advice on your options after you have discussed your case in greater detail.