Auto firm may face legal action after work injury

Tyneside autoparts firm could face legal action after workplace injury 2816

A Tyneside firm specialising in auto parts could face civil legal action after an employee was injured in an accident at work.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was carrying out essential maintenance work on a paint fume filter when the incident happened.

Upon finishing cleaning the device at the Faltec Europe site in Boldon on July 7th 2012, he isolated the compressed air supply and went to switch off his equipment.

However, the worker was unaware that the flexible hose needed to be vented before it was disconnected and as a result the tubing violently whipped around and struck him in the face - breaking his cheekbone.

Upon arriving at hospital doctors also diagnosed him with a serious eye injury, which resulted in him permanently losing sight in his right eye.

He has not been able to go back to work and has lost significant levels of income from the incident. This could mean he is entitled to claim compensation.

After it was made aware of the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found Faltec Europe had failed to properly provide the worker with enough information and training on how to use the hose.

Faltec Europe pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £20,000, as well as being ordered to pay £7,814 in costs.

HSE inspector Fiona McGarry said: "This was an entirely preventable incident which has resulted in a worker losing his sight in one eye - an injury which will affect him permanently.

"The sudden release of compressed air is a known hazard in industry. Faltec Europe Ltd should have ensured that there was a safe system of work in place and that anyone working with compressed air had been given sufficient information."

Ms McGarry also highlighted how dangerous hoses can be if they violently whip around in a confined space.

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801597926-ADNFCR