Employee left with 83 staples in head after grinding wheel accident in Lincoln
A company has been ordered to pay more than £22,000 after an employee was left with 83 staples in his head following an accident with a grinding wheel.
Zach Martin suffered a fractured skull and facial injuries after the accident at the Lincoln factory of Wyman Gordon Limited, which employs 75 people locally.
A part of Mr Martin's skull was left touching his brain following the accident and he had to have surgery.
Mr Martin, an agency worker, began his job as a fettler in August 2010. He received between three and five hours of basic training when he started work and was supervised by an experienced employee to begin with. Mr Martin was not given training or information on how to change the grinding wheels needed to carry out his job. The company took the decision not to send Mr Martin on an external training course until it had been decided whether he would stay on at the factory.
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Neil Cameron, defending, claimed that Mr Martin was told not to change the wheels under any circumstances.
But on October 17, Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard how Mr Martin had changed the grinding wheels between five and 10 times between starting the job and the accident in October 2010.
On the day of the accident, Mr Martin was using a grinding wheel he had changed himself the previous day. The wheel fractured, flew towards his head, smashing his visor. He was taken to Lincoln County Hospital before being transferred to Sheffield for surgery.
The company, which produces and manufactures complex metal components, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £16,500, ordered to pay £6,178.40 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
"We deeply regret the accident that occurred to Mr Martin. The company has always been committed to ensuring a safe working environment for its workers," said Alan Rogers, from Wyman Gordon Limited.
"The company has fully co-operated with the Health and Safety Executive throughout its investigations and has now improved its health and safety systems further to try to ensure that there are no similar accidents.
"The company is pleased to say that Mr Martin has made a return to full-time duties."
Speaking after the hearing, Scott Wynne, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, said; "It serves as a reminder for other companies that they need to train employees correctly."