UNISON has won compensation for a father-of-two who was blinded and badly burnt during a shocking accident.

Anthony Briars, 36, lost his sight for several days and saw his face, arm and forearm burnt after suffering an electric shock by work equipment.

He has also developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since the incident in September 2006.

The accident compensation was secured after Mr Briars approached Unison following the accident. Unison instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Faulty Equipment caused accident

Mr Briars had been digging a hole in the pavement for street lamps to be fitted, but had not been warned about the risks for checking wires, had not been provided with a plan of the area and the equipment he used to check for wires was faulty.

The young father said: “My kids burst into tears when they saw my face.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through and a very frightening experience.

“Although I have recovered from the accident, I am wary when I am digging holes.

“I know the accident happened because I was given faulty equipment, but the worry will always be with me that it might happen again.

“I decided to take action against the council, as I felt more should have been done to make sure the equipment we were using was safe.

“Since the accident the council has made a number of changes to the equipment, but this did not happen immediately.”

Work equipment should be in good working order and in good repair

Ray Short, UNISON’s Head of Local Government for the North West, said: “Mr Briars’ experience was extremely frightening and should have been avoided.

“We welcome the compensation from the council, where he still works, however he should never have been put in this situation in the first place.

“We would urge businesses to make sure they are abiding by health and safety regulations, by making sure equipment is maintained in an efficient state, is in good working order and is in good repair.”

Michelle Farrell, from Thompsons Solicitors, added: “Electrical maintenance is vital in the workplace to ensure highly dangerous accidents like this do not occur.

“Mr Briars could easily have been killed. Fortunately his injuries are not life threatening but the psychological effects of the accident continue to have a dramatic affect on the quality of his life.”