Staffordshire Worker Suffers Serious Head Injury

Stoke Firm Fined After Man Is Hit By Metal Peg

26.03.2014

A man from Cheadle in the Staffordshire Moorlands sustained a serious injury when a two kg peg struck him on the head.

The unnamed 63-year-old was working for Thomas Bolton in Froghall, Stoke-on-Trent, when the accident happened on August 30th 2012.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the metal peg was flung from the arm of an overhead crane and flew up through the factory roof, before coming back down and hitting the man on the head.

His injuries were so severe that he has still been unable to return to work.

The crane was used to tighten bolts on an intrusion press and this method had been used for a long time.

According to the HSE, this was not an appropriate way of completing this task and a suitable risk assessment had not been carried out.

Speaking after the hearing at Stafford Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Rachel Bradshaw said the incident could have resulted in a fatality.

"Maintenance activities such as this should be properly planned using the right tools for the job," she commented.

"Thomas Bolton had carried out this activity in this way for many years, using the crane to tighten the bolts, but just because a job is carried out in a certain way for a long time without incident doesn't make it a safe system of work."

The company was fined £19,050 and ordered to pay costs of £10,361 after pleading guilty to single breaches of the the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Ms Bradshaw confirmed that Thomas Bolton has since changed its working practices and now uses a purpose-designed spanner to add torque to the bolts.
Factories are notoriously hazardous places in which to work and HSE figures show there were 20 fatal injuries reported in the manufacturing sector in 2012-13.

If you or a loved one has suffered a head or brain injury at work, our specialist serious injury solicitors could help you to claim compensation. Visit our Brain & Head Injury Compensation Claims for more information.