Firm Fined for Safety Failings as Man Blinded at Work

Firm fined for safety failings as man blinded at work

An Edinburgh man has been left blind in one eye following an accident at work. The firm he was working for has been fined £165,000 for breaching health and safety regulations by failing to provide eye protection.

Declan Shipcott was helping clear a blockage from a baling machine at a recycling plant when disaster struck. The baling machine used high tension wire to bind the bales of waste materials and the blockage was preventing this to happen.

To release the blockage Declan used wire cutters and snipped the wire free. Unfortunately the wire was under tension and the cut end flicked up and caught his face and left eye. He wasn’t wearing any goggles or eye protection.

He was rushed to hospital where they found he had cut the cornea of his left eye and had to undergo emergency surgery. Further surgery a month later meant having the damaged lens removed and his retina re-attached.

Sadly this has left him blind in his left eye and he’s been told his vision will not improve due to the extent of the damage.

The firm he was working for has been fined £165,000 for breaching health and safety regulations and failing to keep Declan safe at work.

It is an employer’s responsibility to provide protective equipment to all employees and assess any potential risks. In this case the risks weren’t assessed properly and the appropriate protection wasn’t supplied. By simply providing protective eye wear the employer would have prevented Declan Shipcott from sustaining life changing injuries in respect of the loss of sight in his left eye. The firm had a procedure in place for replacing the high tension wire, but not if it needed to be cut.

Any employee should be able to go to work and know that they are safe and protected. You have a right to be safe in your job. Your employer has a duty of care when you are working for them. If you have an accident and you can show that it was due to a failing on their part, you can claim compensation.

Your employer cannot treat you unfairly or dismiss you for claiming compensation. By law, businesses must have Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover them in case of accidents so it’s the insurers that would pay your compensation and not the employer.

If you or a member of your family has been injured at work, either from lack of safety equipment or any other incident that wasn’t your fault, Claims Direct can help. We have a team of expert Personal Injury Lawyers who will evaluate your work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis. If your injuries require medical treatment and/or rehabilitation support this can be provided anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales.

Call Claims Direct 24 hours 7 days a week for a free consultation on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start your claim online and we will call you.