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Blinded worker awarded £20,000 by fast food giant

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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Eye injuries sustained in accidents vary enormously in severity. They can be caused by splashes or exposure to smoke, eyes can be struck directly, or problems can arise as an indirect result of a head injury.
Eye injury compensation awards vary from around £1,500 up to £175,000 for total loss of sight.
In the workplace, employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their staff, and that includes taking steps to assess risk and take measures to ensure employees are not exposed to dangers which could result in injury or illness.
Fast food chain McDonalds has recently paid out over £20,000 to an employee who was partially blinded whilst carrying out cleaning duties in one of its restaurants.
The worker was using an acid-based drain cleaner to unblock a waste pipe in the Wandsworth restaurant. The cleaning fluid splashed in his face causing him burns that left him with only 55 per cent vision in his left eye. The employee had himself purchased the drain cleaner from a local DIY store, with the full knowledge of the store manager who gave him the money to make the purchase.
No risk assessment, no protective clothing
When the acid cleaner was poured into the waste pipe, it blew back into the staff member’s face and eyes. The council’s environment spokesperson said that no risk assessment had been carried out to check the safety of the product, there was inadequate supervision, no training and no protective clothing was provided.
And in Cambridge, a construction worker sustained severe injuries in an accident which resulted in him losing the sight in one eye.
Head injury leads to loss of sight
Worker Mr Ingram fell from a scaffold tower erected on a freight container. The 55-year old was in a coma for several days after the accident, which left him with facial fractures. His employer was found to be in breach on four counts of health and safety legislation.
Having been unable to work for eight months, and facing the rest of his life with seriously impaired vision, Mr Ingram will no doubt look to pursue his employer for accident compensation.
Some eye injuries result in temporary loss of sight, for others vision can be permanently lost. In some cases, sight can become gradually worse over time.
A personal injury solicitor who specialises in workplace accident claims and eye injuries in particular will make sure the compensation awarded adequately covers the severity of the injuries and the ongoing and long term connotations.
For specialist eye injury compensation advice, you can speak directly to one of the specialists at Stephensons by calling 0844 245 6601. Your call will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney