Greenwich Factory Accident – Larking alleged

18th May 1923
Before His Honour, Judge Sir Thomas Granger at Greenwich County Court on Friday, Thomas Henry Jacobs aged 20 of 2 Pennell’s Court Church Street; Greenwich claimed compensation from the Delta Metal Co., east Greenwich in respect of injuries sustained on December 6th.
Applicant said he was standing by his machine waiting for a coil of brass wire when something struck him on the head. He fell down unconscious and from what he had since heard was taken to the Seamen’s Hospital where an operation was performed. After two months in the institution he attended as an outpatient for massage treatment – his left arm was paralysed and he was compelled to wear a splint to prevent wrist drop. Applicant denied that he was ’larking’ when the accident occurred and cross examined by Mr. Leaky counsel for the respondents, denied that he told his solicitor that on the afternoon in question pieces of metal were flying about all over the workshop. Nevertheless pieces were liable to fly about he added. He had not heard that he was hit by a coil of wire thrown by a workmate named Findings.
Dr. Kelly house surgeon at the seamen’s hospital described Jacob’s condition and said that trephining was performed. He would never recover complete use of his arm and he was not in a condition to resume work.
Dr. Toogood for the respondents thought the prospects of complete recovery of the arm were very poor. The accident must have been caused by considerable force.
Vincent Hill, foreman of the wire-drawing department, who was called to the workshop immediately after the accident, said that a statement was made to him by one of the employees named Peter Findings and as consequence he took possession of a coil of wire (produced), which had blood on the tapered end. He denied that pieces of wire flew about the factory and said the highest rate of the machinery in the department was about 60 revolutions a minute. On one or two occasions he had known pieces of wire about six inches long fly two or three feet. Jacobs was a very reliable workman and was not larking to the best of his knowledge on this occasion.
Peter Findings who was working on a machine about 20 feet from Jacobs said he threw a small coil of wire applicant in fun. He saw him fall and ran to his side to see what he had done.
The works manager and chief engineer also gave evidence.
Kentish Mercury


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