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Eye injury dangers in the workplace

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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Almost a year ago, a builder suffered severe head injuries after falling from a scaffold tower on a refurbishment site in Hertfordshire. The injuries were serious and left worker John Ingram in a coma for several days. He is now blind in one eye as a result of the head trauma and after an eight month period of being unable to work, has only recently returned on a part time basis.
 
The worker’s employer was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is likely to be liable for injury compensation.
 
Sight risks at work
 
Eye injuries can vary quite considerably; some can be temporary and minor whilst others long term or permanent. Being struck in the eye, splashes from hazardous substances, foreign objects entering the eye, physical attack, electric shocks, defective products, exposure to smoke and, as in the case of John Ingram, head trauma, are all relatively common in the workplace.
 
Employers have a duty to provide adequate eye protection, training, supervision and security so as to prevent eye injuries. If they fail in their duty of care, the HSE will launch an investigation and if negligence is proven, injured workers are within their rights to claim compensation.
 
Compensation levels for eye injuries
 
Minor eye injuries from which there is likely to be a full recovery will usually command a compensation award of £1,450 to £5,750. Where there is a total loss of one eye, awards fall in the region of £36,000 to £43,000 and where there is a loss of sight in one eye, the maximum payout will be £36,000. Permanent but not complete loss of sight in one eye, depending on the extent of the damage, can result in compensation awards of anything from £8,250 to £25,750. Awards can stretch to £118,000 where there is loss of sight in one eye, and reduced vision in the other. A total loss of sight could command in the region of £175,000.
 
If you have suffered an eye injury at work, or have been left with reduced sight due to the negligence of an employer, take legal advice; you may be eligible for compensation.
 
Talk to a specialist eye injury claim solicitor at Stephensons; they’ll let you know whether you have a case and what you might be able to claim. Call 0844 245 6601 in confidence.
 
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney
 

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