Angle grinder injury – how much can you claim?
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An angle grinder is a hand-held device that is either powered by a motor or via compressed air. Angle grinders are used to cut metal, concrete or stone, and for other tasks such as polishing or grinding.
Due to their many uses, angle grinders are commonly found in many trades and workplaces – from welding and garages to farms and even emergency rescue.
As angle grinders are used so much, it is perhaps not a surprise that they make up a high percentage of all accidents involving workplace machinery – many of which are serious and some are even fatal.
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Common angle grinder injuries
The power with which an angle grinder is operate, along with the speed and sharpness of the discs, means that serious angle grinding accidents can happen very quickly. Some of the most common injuries that come from accidents involving angle grinders include:
- deep cuts and lacerations across the head, face and neck
- amputation of the hand or fingers
- eye injuries
- cuts on the body caused by flying debris
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive as angle grinders are capable of causing a multitude of different injuries. Prolonged use of angle grinders can also cause more long term health concerns such as those linked with continued exposure to vibration (e.g. vibration white finger), dust and silica.
How to prevent angle grinder injuries
As with many injuries caused by machinery, the problem is not necessarily with the tool itself but the way in which it was used. Angle grinding accidents tend to happen because the person operating it has not received adequate safety training and is not sure how to handle the tool correctly and safely.
This is why all employers should train their employees on how to use workplace machinery properly and take the correct health and safety precautions at all times. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 stipulates the specific processes an employer should follow in order to eliminate or lessen the risk of machinery accidents.
Can I make a compensation claim for an angle grinding accident?
Employers have a duty of care to ensure that everything possible has been done to keep their employees safe from harm in the workplace. Therefore, a compensation claim may be made against the employer if you can demonstrate that they failed in their duty to take reasonable steps to protect against the risks.
In order to determine liability for a given accident in the workplace, consideration should be given to a variety of issues such as:
- Was the employee given the correct and proper training on how to use angle grinders?
- Was the employee given the correct safety equipment (e.g. goggles or a full-face visor, flame resistant clothing, hard hat and gloves etc..)
- Was the angle grinder the best tool for the job, or could a less risky approach have been adopted?
- Was correct disc being used on the angle grinder?
- Was the disc chipped or did it show signs of wear and tear?
- Was the correct guard fitted to the angle grinder?
- Were suitable “hot work” procedures in place to reduce the risks of burn injury from heat and sparks?
If your employer fails in their duty then they could be held negligent for your injury, and you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation – which you can bring within three years from the date of the accident.
For more information on how CL Legal can help you make a No Win No Fee claim for compensation following an angle grinding accident, get in touch with our expert solicitors today using the options below…
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