Hull street cleaner's cut finger to cost council £100k

  • Published

A street cleaner's cut finger is set to cost Hull City Council at least £100,000 after judges ruled he was given the wrong gloves to work with.

Steven Threlfall was injured by a sharp object in a bin bag as he cleared a garden at a council house in May 2006.

Three judges at London's Appeal Court ruled that his employers had failed to provide him with cut-resistant gloves.

They ordered the council to pay £30,000 towards final costs, which are expected to run into six figures.

Severed artery

The court also said Mr Threlfall must be given £3,000 damages immediately until a final settlement is agreed.

The court heard that Mr Threlfall, a street operative with Hull council, suffered a serious cut to the little finger of his left hand.

The artery and nerve running along the finger were severed and the tendon partially cut, and he required surgery to repair the damage.

Mr Threlfall argued that his employers were at fault because they failed to provide him with cut-resistant gloves thick enough to protect him when handling rubbish bags.

His damages claim was dismissed at two previous court hearings, but upheld on Wednesday at the Civil Appeal Court.

Lady Justice Smith, sitting with Lord Justice Ward and Lord Justice Jackson, said the standard issue gloves he was given "were plainly not effective to prevent or adequately control the risk of laceration".

Mr Threlfall's QC, James Rowley, earlier told the court the "standard rigger's gloves" he was given were nothing more than "glorified gardening gloves".

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