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Court Hears Injury Claim for an Industrial Saw Accident at Work

The High Court yesterday started hearing an injury claim for an industrial saw accident at work, made by a man who lost two fingers in the accident.

On April 23rd 2008, Antoni Jamroziewicz (52) – a Polish national with an address in Caherdavin, County Limerick – was working as a carpenter on the construction of the Limerick Tunnel. As Antoni was about to cut a length of timber from a 1.5 metre plank with an industrial saw, he lost his balance and fell. As he fell, Antoni´s left hand went into the saw and part of his index and ring fingers were severed.

Doctors were unable to reattach the severed parts of Antoni´s fingers and, due to a combination of his physical and psychological trauma, Antoni started drinking to excess. He was later able to find more work as a carpenter, but the loss of his fingers in the accident limited his ability and affected his confidence – both professionally and socially.

Antoni made an injury claim for an industrial saw accident at work against the recruitment agency O’Neill Brennan Ltd, and German contractor Strabag International GmbH. In his claim, Antoni alleged that the area on which the industrial saw had been placed was uneven and unsafe. The two defendants denied liability for his injury, and the case to determine liability started yesterday at the High Court.

At the hearing, Antoni told the court that he had stumbled on the uneven surface, and it was this that had led to his hand going into the saw. The defendants contested Antoni´s version of events. They argued that the surface on which the industrial saw had been placed was flat and that Antoni probably put his hand too close to the saw and lost his fingers due to his own carelessness.

Furthermore, it was argued, as an experienced carpenter, Antoni could have ensured a safe working surface by placing a plywood sheet beneath the saw before he had started using it. Antoni´s barrister told the court that the saw was already in situ and that Antoni had no responsibility for setting it up or ensuring it was safe to use.

The hearing into the injury claim for an industrial saw accident at work continues today.