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Firefighter awarded £1.5m after damaged equipment resulted in amputation

Ian McDonald, who had to have his right hand amputated following a training exercise in 2014, has now received £1.5 million in compensation.

The 37-year-old from Bishopbriggs was taken to hospital with a swollen hand when the hospital staff noticed ‘a tiny red dot like a skelf’ during the examination. It turned out McDonald's leather safety gloves had been pierced by a high-pressure jet of hydraulic fluid and he was poisoned as a result. 

The liquid destroyed tissue and McDonald went on to have 40 operations as well as skin grafts from his leg on three occasions in an attempt to save his hand. However, in June 2018, McDonald’s hand was finally amputated.

An investigation was launched into the maintenance of the equipment which revealed the hose pipe connecting the generator to the cutting gear was covered in tiny punctures. It was also discovered that protective coverings for the hose which would have prevented McDonald’s injury were not used.

Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Deputy Chief Officer, David McGown, said:

“Following a robust investigation into Mr McDonald’s injury, we undertook a review of equipment and related safety checks and have taken appropriate steps to minimise the risk of similar incidents happening in the future.

“This included the removal of all third-party hoses and replacement with original equipment manufacturer parts and we also undertook a review of the latest technologies available for future purchases and replacements, to minimise risk to staff.”

Accident at Work Claims in Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow

According to the latest annual report from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, there was a total of 258 accidents and injuries in the service during 2017/18; a five per cent drop on 2016/17’s figures (272). Thirty-five per cent of all accidents and injuries to uniformed staff occurred during training.

Accidents and injuries which resulted in seven-day plus absences accounted for 89 per cent of all RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation) injuries reported to the HSE in 2017/18. Fifty-eight per cent of the over seven-day incidents occurred while undertaking training. Slips, trips and falls were responsible for 32 per cent of the over seven-day accidents, while 26 per cent were associated with manual handling and/or body movements.

Contact our Accident at Work Personal Injury Lawyers, Scotland

If you have suffered an injury at work and wish to make a claim, it is imperative you speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Lawford Kidd's Accident at Work solicitors can provide you with specialist legal advice today. To get in touch, complete the online enquiry form here

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