College lecturer receives compensation after damaging fingers

September 10, 2012

A lecturer, who sustained irreparable damage to his fingers after becoming trapped in a sash window that was defective, was awarded compensation for the personal injury recently.

The man, who was aged 60 from Mid Glamorgan, had to take two weeks sick leave and endured pain for the next six months following the accident at Coleg Morgannwg, Rhondda.

He went to shut the windows in the classroom after he had finished lecturing for the day. The sash window had been incorrectly opened and the rear pane of glass was situated at the bottom of the window, while the front pane of glass was positioned at the top. While trying to move the back pane upwards to the top of the window frame in order to shut it, the front pane dropped down and crushed his hand.

The index and middle finger on his right hand were subsequently crushed. They were strapped for the next two weeks and he could not go to work and required assistance from his wife when washing and dressing.

After 6 months he was still enduring pain from the accident and was taking painkillers. Even two years after the accident, the dexterity in his fingers is still limited, which means that he encounters difficulties removing lids from jars, fastening up buttons on his clothing.

After the accident, the University and College Union (UCU) suggested that he should put in a claim for compensation.

UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt said that many of their members are working in old buildings, but regular checks can still prevent accidents from happening. The fault with this particular window should have been identified a long time before any staff member should be injured.