Shipyard worker scarred for life15 October 2009
Working without safety equipment
A shipyard worker has been left scarred for life after he was forced to work without the correct safety equipment.
Alan Wright from Glasgow has received £7,300 in compensation after the grinding tool he was using kicked back and left deep cuts in his face.
Alan was working as a subcontractor for Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton building offshore patrol vessel HMS Clyde when the accident happened in July 2006.
He was working in a tight space using the grinding tool to cut a piece of sheet metal fixed to the boat. His awkward working position meant his arm kept knocking his visor and he had to take it off to complete the job.
He complained to his foreman about the lack of room to work in and the fact he couldn’t wear his safety equipment but was told to get on with the job without the visor.
Machine cut into face requiring 20 stitches
As a result when the tool kicked back it cut him below his right eye, below his nose and on his jaw.
He needed 20 stitches to repair the deep cuts and now has unsightly scarring.
Alan, who still works for Vosper Thornycroft, was forced to take two weeks off work as a result of the accident.
He contacted Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation. Vosper Thornycroft admitted liability and settled the case out of court.
Alan said: “I was working in a really tight space and after approaching my foreman I felt I had no choice but to continue with the job without my visor. I now have three scars on my face and one is particularly visible.
“I decided to claim compensation because I wanted to highlight my health and safety concerns. I should never have been told to finish the job without my visor on. I was also keen to be reimbursed for the money I lost as a result of being off work sick.”
Safety equipment like visors are used in the workplace for a reason
Dimuna Gething from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Safety equipment like visors are used in the workplace for a reason and it is simply not good enough that Mr Wright was forced to remove his in order to complete his job.
“His foreman should have listened to his concerns and action should have been taken to make sure that Mr Wright could continue his work in the safest possible manner. Had this happened he would not be scarred for life.”
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