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Dad-of-four left with devastating injuries after workplace accident – Cambridge News

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These horrific injury pictures show a workman’s hand which got caught in a machine causing him to lose a finger and thumb.

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 ft away from his colleague when bits of metal from the angle grinder struck his face.

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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, Hertfordshire, 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, who is married to Maggie, 52, said: “I remember the day so well.

“I was horrified when I realised that my hand had entered the machine and just went into total shock.

“I suggested that 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, Bedfordshire, and then transferred to Lister Hospital, Hertfordshire, 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, Bedfordshire.

William is now unlikely to ever be able to return to his old job again.

William left with constant pain and nightmares

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.”

William’s right hand was pulled into the rolling machine up to his wrist

William hopes “no one else faces this nightmare”

Following the incident on March 1, 2018, William instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him access specialist care and rehabilitation.

He is now urging companies to always ensure that the safety of workers comes first.

Natasha Fairs, the specialist workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Billy, said: “This is a truly devastating example of the impact that workplace accidents can have on employees, with Billy suffering injuries which will have a significant effect on the rest of his life.

“While we have secured an admission of primary liability from Hardall International Limited regarding the incident, we are now focused on helping Billy access the specialist support he needs.”

William added: “I also had DIY plans like putting up new curtains and installing decking in the garden, but the injuries mean I won’t be able to do that now.

“I’m just devastated by what has happened to me and the lasting impact that it is going to have.

“While nothing will change what has happened I truly hope that lessons can be learned from my story so that no one else faces this nightmare.”

Following the incident, the Health and Safety Executive investigated and noted six breaches of health and safety law, including that the system of work used by the company did not keep workers’ hands away from dangerous parts of the rolling machine.

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