Tyne & Wear

Firm fined for Newcastle worker's head trapping

A company has been fined £10,000 after a factory worker got his head trapped in moving machinery.

Desmond Salkeld, 65, had his eye sockets shattered, suffered a large cut to his head and a bleed on the brain in June's incident in Newcastle.

Magistrates in Newcastle fined insulation manufacturer Springvale EPS Ltd £10,000 along with costs of £1,200.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the firm had failed to develop safe procedures.

Mr Salkeld, from Newcastle, had been investigating a fault on a hot wire-cutting machine.

'Horrific injuries'

The HSE found the machine had not been isolated from its power source and a fixed safety guard had been removed.

Surgeons reconstructed Mr Salkeld's face using bone from the right side of his skull, during a nine-hour operation.

He now suffers from blurred vision and has been forced to retire, despite having planned to carry on working.

HSE inspector Sal Brecken said: "Mr Salkeld's horrific injuries should not and need not have happened.

"Guards and safety systems are there for a reason and companies have a legal duty of care to ensure they are properly fitted and working effectively.

"Springvale EPS Ltd's failures have led to one of their employees sustaining devastating injuries from which he is unlikely to ever fully recover.

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