Five Figure Settlement After Angle Grinder Incident Leaves Welder ‘Millimetres From Death’

Birmingham Man Still Affected By Consequences Of Incident Three Years Ago


Specialist workplace injury lawyers have helped a welder secure a five-figure settlement from his employer following an incident at work three years ago when he was left with severe physical and psychological injuries after an angle grinder sliced through his throat.

Alan Bailey, 48, from Birmingham, was told by medical experts that he was ‘millimetres from dying’ when the equipment kicked back against a piece of steel and injured him in a workplace accident in August 2011.

Specialist lawyers have helped Mr Bailey gain access to vital financial support from Press Vess Ltd in relation to the incident, after his employer admitted liability in relation to the incident.

Katy Bailey, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who represents Mr Bailey said: “This is a horrific case which highlights the terrible consequences which can emerge as a result of health and safety failings in the workplace.

“While we are delighted to have helped Alan get the support he needed following the problems he faced, it is important that a case like this is held up as an example as to why employers need to following health and safety legislation and ensure they are doing everything they can to protect their staff.

“Too many people are injured as a result of failings which could and should be avoided and it is vital lessons are learned to ensure the same problems are never repeated in the future.”

Recalling the incident, Alan Bailey outlined: “I was using the grinder on a large piece of steel and was wearing full protective equipment when the incident happened. Initially I was just completely stunned and I quickly grabbed my neck to try and stem the bleeding.

“I was in absolute agony and was taken by a friend to Russells Hall Hospital, where I had emergency surgery to clear debris from the wound and repair muscles damaged in the incident. Doctors told me I was literally millimetres from suffering an injury which could have proved fatal.”

Press Vess Ltd initially admitted a breach in their statutory duty, but argued that the grinder did not have an appropriate handle fitted for the work and that the victim should have been aware not to use it in such circumstances.

However, investigations by Irwin Mitchell on behalf of its client revealed it was never mandatory for the handle on the grinder to be fitted, while it was also revealed that no risk assessment was carried out prior to the incident. Subsequently, Irwin Mitchell helped Alan secure a settlement from Press Vess Ltd, with the company admitting full liability in relation to the incident.

Alan added: “I’ve been left with a 12-inch scar across my neck and had 17 staples removed from it just a couple of weeks after the operation.

“I needed nine weeks off work in total, as well as help with every part of my daily routine – I couldn’t do anything around the house or even wash and dress without the help of my wife and children. It was an incredibly difficult period of my life.

“However, knowing that we have secured this settlement is a massive relief and a weight off my shoulders. I’m hopeful that this means I will now be able to move on with my life and put what I’ve been through behind me.”