Personal injury solicitors recently reported that a Cumbrian packaging firm has been fined after two of its workers suffered a serious personal injury at work due to being caught in a massive fireball.
Mayport native Gordon Metcalf, a sixty two year old electrician, was injured alongside his younger, unnamed apprentice when they were cleaning up a fuse box that had been damaged at the time of the accident. Both employees, who had been working on behalf of Wigton-based Innovia Films Ltd, suddenly found themselves engulfed in the ball of flame, according to personal injury claims experts.
Both workers sustained severe burn injuries in the incident. Mr Metcalf suffered the more serious injuries, as 47 per cent of his body sustained burns that necessitated him being placed in a medically-induced coma for four weeks, with a following six weeks on the intensive care ward.
Shortly after the incident, the Government’s Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation, discovering that, a day before the accident, a fire had broken out within the fuse box. However, in order to keep equipment essential to the factory running, the livewires had been routed through the box in an effort to prevent production losses.
After an admission that they had breached the Health and Safety at Work Act, Innovia Films Ltd were given a £90,000 fine and further ordered to pay a total of £26,790 in court costs at Carlisle Crown Court. After the hearing, an HSE inspector said that he had been ‘astonished’ that the firm had decided to permit work to continue upon the fuse box without shutting down the power supply, remarking that if the factory had shut its doors for less than two days, the terrible accident would never have occurred.