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Worker shattered every bone in his face after oil drum exploded

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A 40 years old welder Andrew Foster was trying to cut open an oil drum using a plasma cutter which ended up causing the drum to explode, as a result of which he ended up in a 16 days coma. The force of the impact was so severe that it split Andrew’s face in half with surgeons spending more than 26 hours rebuilding his face.

Andrew Foster (40) with his wife Donna, from Minster-on-Sea, Kent. A welder at a road safety firm was left blinded after an oil drum blew up in his face. See NATIONAL story NNBLINDED. Andrew Foster, who used to coach rugby in his spare time, was using a plasma cutter to remove the lid of what he thought was an empty 45-gallon oil drum. But it exploded and the lid struck the dad of two before flying across the yard of road safety company Highway Care Ltd in Kent. The 40-year-old was put into an induced coma at King's College Hospital in London and he woke a month later. He still cannot remember the blast and has had to have nine operations - and is likely to undergo many more. Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Foster lost his sight in both eyes and his face and jaw are now held together by titanium plates. A bleed on his brain also led to short-term memory problems and his speech is affected by a hole in his mouth. He had worked at the firm which manufactures road safety and road closure equipment since 2007 and had often cut up oil drums to use as storage for scrap. His supervisor on the day of the accident in August 2012 had no welding experience and did not know of the explosive risks of using cutting tools on used drums. Prosecutor Shauna Ritchie for the Health and Safety Executive said the practice of cutting open used oil drums should never have been allowed.
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Andrew Foster (40) with his wife Donna, from Minster-on-Sea, Kent. A welder at a road safety firm was left blinded after an oil drum blew up in his face. See NATIONAL story NNBLINDED. Andrew Foster, who used to coach rugby in his spare time, was using a plasma cutter to remove the lid of what he thought was an empty 45-gallon oil drum. But it exploded and the lid struck the dad of two before flying across the yard of road safety company Highway Care Ltd in Kent. The 40-year-old was put into an induced coma at King’s College Hospital in London and he woke a month later. He still cannot remember the blast and has had to have nine operations – and is likely to undergo many more. Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Foster lost his sight in both eyes and his face and jaw are now held together by titanium plates. A bleed on his brain also led to short-term memory problems and his speech is affected by a hole in his mouth. He had worked at the firm which manufactures road safety and road closure equipment since 2007 and had often cut up oil drums to use as storage for scrap. His supervisor on the day of the accident in August 2012 had no welding experience and did not know of the explosive risks of using cutting tools on used drums. Prosecutor Shauna Ritchie for the Health and Safety Executive said the practice of cutting open used oil drums should never have been allowed.

 

 

 

FILE PICTURE - An oil drum (THIS IS NOT THE OIL DRUM AT THE CENTRE OF THE INCIDENT). A welder at a road safety firm was left blinded after an oil drum blew up in his face. See NATIONAL story NNBLINDED. Andrew Foster, who used to coach rugby in his spare time, was using a plasma cutter to remove the lid of what he thought was an empty 45-gallon oil drum. But it exploded and the lid struck the dad of two before flying across the yard of road safety company Highway Care Ltd in Kent. The 40-year-old was put into an induced coma at King's College Hospital in London and he woke a month later. He still cannot remember the blast and has had to have nine operations - and is likely to undergo many more. Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Foster lost his sight in both eyes and his face and jaw are now held together by titanium plates. A bleed on his brain also led to short-term memory problems and his speech is affected by a hole in his mouth. He had worked at the firm which manufactures road safety and road closure equipment since 2007 and had often cut up oil drums to use as storage for scrap. His supervisor on the day of the accident in August 2012 had no welding experience and did not know of the explosive risks of using cutting tools on used drums. Prosecutor Shauna Ritchie for the Health and Safety Executive said the practice of cutting open used oil drums should never have been allowed.

FILE PICTURE – An oil drum (THIS IS NOT THE OIL DRUM AT THE CENTRE OF THE INCIDENT). A welder at a road safety firm was left blinded after an oil drum blew up in his face. See NATIONAL story NNBLINDED. Andrew Foster, who used to coach rugby in his spare time, was using a plasma cutter to remove the lid of what he thought was an empty 45-gallon oil drum. But it exploded and the lid struck the dad of two before flying across the yard of road safety company Highway Care Ltd in Kent. The 40-year-old was put into an induced coma at King’s College Hospital in London and he woke a month later. He still cannot remember the blast and has had to have nine operations – and is likely to undergo many more. Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Foster lost his sight in both eyes and his face and jaw are now held together by titanium plates. A bleed on his brain also led to short-term memory problems and his speech is affected by a hole in his mouth. He had worked at the firm which manufactures road safety and road closure equipment since 2007 and had often cut up oil drums to use as storage for scrap. His supervisor on the day of the accident in August 2012 had no welding experience and did not know of the explosive risks of using cutting tools on used drums. Prosecutor Shauna Ritchie for the Health and Safety Executive said the practice of cutting open used oil drums should never have been allowed.

Here’s a picture of Andrew before the accident!

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