Personal injury news
Firm fined after accident left worker scarred for life
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined a Stoke foundry, in the north of England, after a work accident scarred a man for life.
The 28-year-old suffered severe burns to the left arm and both legs in May 2010, after falling into the unfenced gap between a metal mould and the pit in which it was housed.
Fenton Magistrates Court heard how the foundry worker had been overseeing production of a freshly poured casting when he tripped and fell.
Reaching out to stop himself, his arm was briefly immersed in molten metal at a temperature of over 900 degrees Celsius.
HSE prosecutors said the man remained too traumatised by the workplace accident to return to the foundry, and required ongoing physiotherapy for restricted movement in his arm, hand, and fingers.
His injured limbs were repaired using skin grafts, and may remain scarred for the rest of his life.
After the hearing, the foundry was fined £8,000 for failing to identify the risk of an industrial accident posed by the unfenced pit.
"Falling into the pit was foreseeable and likely to cause serious, or even fatal, injuries," said an HSE inspector, speaking afterward.
"This case highlights the consequences of failing to recognise dangers."
He said installing a guard railing or cover around the pit would be enough to prevent similar work accidents in the future.