A 26-year-old Baltimore man escaped serious injury at Marada Industries in Westminster Friday when a 5,000-pound spool of steel fell, pinning his left knee to a safety fence, Westminster police reported.
Michael A. Valentino, 26, of the 2200 block of Coral Thorn Road, was taken to Carroll County General Hospital, where his knee was stitched and he was released.
Westminster police said Mr. Valentino was working with the large spools of steel, loading them into machinery that cuts the spools into smaller pieces. As he was working, two spools began to fall from a nearby machine that brings them closer to the cutting machinery.
"As the spools fell, they scraped him against the fence, causing the cuts," said Tracy Kerr, Marada's safety and training coordinator.
Police credit fellow employee Tim Stevenson with using a torch to cut away part of the safety fence to relieve pressure on Mr. Valentino's knee.
No other injuries were reported in the 11:30 a.m. accident, which officials said was reported to the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration.