A FIRM has been fined £20,000 after a worker was blinded in one eye.
William Tickner, 49, was carrying out maintenance work last July to clean a paint fume filter at Faltec Europe Limited, based on Didcot Way in Boldon Business Park, when a hose containing compressed air smashed into his face, hitting his eye and breaking his cheekbone.
Technician Mr Tickner had been unaware that pressure from the flexible hose needed to be vented before it was disconnected.
The court heard the firm, which makes car parts, had failed to provide Mr Tickner with sufficient information, instruction or training.
At South Tyneside Magistrates Court yesterday, the company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees.
Mr Tickner, from South Shields, is still a technician at the firm, and is making a compensation claim through the civil courts.
Magistrates were told that in 2006, when the firm was known as Hashimoto, a worker died after flammable chemicals spilled on his work clothes, and it was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000. Faltec Europe Limited is now operating under new management since that accident.
The firm was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,813.70 and a victim surcharge of £120.
In a statement after the case bosses said they had “learned lessons” from the accident and had put improvements in place.