A workman suffered horrific injuries when his hand became caught in a machine and his finger and thumb had to be amputated.
William Mortimer, 61, was manufacturing refuse chutes when a site worker used a nearby workbench to remove strips of metal from a door using an angle grinder.
The father-of-four was using a rolling machine at the time and was standing around eight feet away from his colleague when bits of metal from the angle grinder struck his face.
This became a distraction to William as he tried to protect his face, and caused his right hand to be pulled into the rolling machine up to his wrist.
William, from St Albans, Herts., was rushed to hospital for treatment but because his injuries were so severe it meant he needed to have his right index finger and thumb amputated.
William, married to Maggie, 52, said: "I was horrified when I realised that my hand had entered the machine and just went into total shock.
"I suggested he (colleague) used a plasma cutter as this would produce a better finish and could be used outside.
"He proceeded with the angle grinder. It generated so many sparks."
William was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Beds., and then transferred to Lister Hospital, Herts., for further treatment and plastic surgery support.
As well as undertaking the amputations, doctors also had to reattach his right middle finger.
The labourer was working at Hardall International Limited where they have admitted liability for his injuries.
A separate health and safety investigation also found six material breaches of laws at the company's site in Dunstable, Beds.
William is now unlikely to ever be able to return to his old job again.
He added: "Since my injury, I needed help with so many things. I couldn’t wash the left side of my body or my hair.
"I couldn’t make a can of soup for myself, but spill it all down me when I am trying to open it.
"I’ve been very reliant on my family for support with Maggie having to do a huge amount around the home and others having to drive me to regular appointments and hand therapy.
"I am in constant pain, as well as psychological issues like flashbacks and nightmares.
"I have now been left with reduced strength and grip in my hand which has an impaction on my overall function.
"Washing and dressing remain an issue as does kitchen tasks and participating in my previous hobby of golf and driving."
Following the incident on March 1, 2018, William instructed workplace injury lawyers to help him access specialist care and rehabilitation.
He is now urging companies to always ensure that the safety of workers comes first.
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