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Man loses sight from falling air hose

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An auto parts firm has been fined £20,000 after a worker lost his sight in one eye during a cleaning task.

William Tickner was injured when the compressed air hose whipped him in the face.

He had gone to disconnect the equipment after isolating the air supply at a connection point. Mr Tickner was unaware the pressure from the flexible hose needed venting before disconnection. As a result, the hose whipped and struck him in the face, hitting his right eye and breaking his cheekbone.

Mr Tickner, who has since gone back to work for the firm, has permanently lost sight in the eye.

Last month at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the company pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the firm failed to provide the worker with sufficient information, instruction or training on the equipment he was using.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Fiona McGarry said: “This was an entirely preventable incident which has resulted in a worker losing his sight in one eye. The employee injured in the accident remains a valued member of the company’s workforce and has returned to work full time in his normal role. The company has learnt lessons from this accident and has implemented improvements to the training and supervision given to its employees to ensure an accident like this can never happen again.”

By personal injury team member, Tara Lever