Delivery driver suffered head injury when wheel exploded, inquest told

By Dave Speck in Local People

A delivery driver suffered a head injury when the wheel on his hand trolley exploded while he was changing it, an inquest heard.

Shaw Thomas, 45, from Buxton Close, Edmonton, was struck on the forehead by the metal rim of the wheel in the incident at the Lyreco depot on the Mowlem Trading Estate in Leeside Road, Tottenham.

Fellow delivery driver Eric Smith told the inquest: “We unscrewed about two nuts and as we were about to do the third the wheel just exploded.”

Another driver, Stephen McFarlane said he heard a “loud popping” and turned to see that the rim had hit the roof of the warehouse and that Mr Shaw was holding his head.

He said: “It just looked like a teeny little bump like when you’ve banged your head on a cupboard.”

The inquest, at North London Coroner’s Court heard, heard how Mr Thomas, an employee of recruitment agency The FTS Group, felt “a bit dizzy” but said he was okay and didn’t need medical treatment.

He carried on working as normal, but went to North Middlesex Hospital just over two months later on July 31, after he had suffered dizziness while decorating his house.

The inquest heard he had an “enormous” subdural haematoma, a condition in which blood collects between the skull and the brain.

Consultant neurosurgeon Joan Grieve told the inquest there had been a slow build up of pressure in his head caused by bleeding. She said: “He arrived at hospital just at the point when the pressure in his head was tipping from being very high to critical.”

Acting for Lyreco, barrister Alice Jarratt said Miss Grieve could not be sure this was related to the incident at Lyreco.

Miss Grieve said there was no evidence to suggest there was any other cause, although she said she had at first thought “a relatively mild head injury at work was not the whole explanation.”

The inquest heard that three months after surgery Mr Thomas was transferred to the Neuro Rehabilitation Centre (NRC)at Edgware Community Hospital where he underwent physiotherapy in the gym and needed help with standing and sitting, and that he had a poor short-term memory.

Consultant neurosurgeon Dr Gerrard Davis said he hadn’t been prescribed ‘Ted’ stockings for reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)- and that the DVT he was later found to have suffered was likely to have been present before admission to the NRC.

Police were called after Mr Thomas’ sudden death on October 14 last year and his room at the NRC was initially cordoned off as a crime scene. The inquest continues.

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