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Dad has eight fingers amputated after horror metal-crusher accident
May 9, 2023
A new dad who survived a horrifying metal rolling machine has been told he will have to have eight fingers removed.
Dean Delahaye of Barnstaple, Devon will be left unable to hold or feed his newborn baby daughter.
The 35-year-old will also now need round-the-clock, 24-hour care, as he wakes up to the reality of his injuries.
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He said: "It makes me feel like a burden to my loved ones, with all the assistance I need daily.
"My wife Jess not only has to care for me, but is also like a single parent which makes me feel so worthless. Mentally I have not come to terms with my new reality.
"When I dream, I am fully able-bodied and then I wake and realise this is never going to be the case for me again. But if my accident can stop someone going through what I have had to go through, then at least it will be for something."
He also told how he now gets "very frustrated" having always enjoyed working with his hands.
"I still get very frustrated and have a sense of uselessness. I am frustrated with how long things are taking, and how things have been put on hold. Having no fingers means I am unable to grip things," he said, according to a Health and Safety Executive press release.
"Before my accident, I enjoyed playing a wide range of sports, including football, tennis and squash. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and have only ever had manual jobs, but since the accident, it will never be possible to return to doing this again.
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"Before my accident, I was an independent and sociable person, but I feel this has been taken away from me now."
He was putting flat metal sheeting into the machine when it happened on September 5, 2019, and after the accident spent 54 days in hospital.
More than three years on, he is still waiting for prosthetics to be fitted.
Flue and chimney manufacturer SF Limited, where Dean worked, was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 costs over the accident.
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Yeovil Magistrates' Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately assess the risks and implement the necessary controls when the roller equipment was installed.
It subsequently missed a further opportunity to reassess the risks following a significant change in the way in which the machine was operated.
SF Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
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After the hearing HSE inspector Paul Mannell said: "Dean’s injuries were easily preventable.
"Employers must identify the risks posed by dangerous parts of machinery and ensure that relevant controls are implemented to minimise the potential for harm.
"Where the way in which machinery is used changes, the assessment and controls should be updated to ensure employees can work safely and without risk of injury."
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