GMB member’s sight affected by unsuitable safety goggles31 December 2008
Accident at work resulted in partial loss of sight
Paul Thomas, 34, from Carlisle suffered the injury after he was provided with unsuitable safety glasses while working for Clark Door Limited.
He was fitting sound proof doors in the BBC buildings in Glasgow when he had to drill into concrete above his head.
The goggles he was wearing had ventilation holes in the top and the concrete dust fell into his eyes causing alkali burns.
His eyes were so badly damaged they swelled up and he was forced to take four months off work.
Claim for Compensation made against employer
Paul, who is now retraining to become an electrician, contacted his union following the accident which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Clark Door Limited admitted liability and settled out of court.
Paul who has a partner with two children and said it was important to him that his employers accepted responsibility for his injury.
He said: “I had to take a lot of time off work and as a result I was on statutory sick pay. I should have been supplied with the correct goggles to avoid this injury from happening.”
Regional secretary of the GMB, Tom Brennan added: “An alkali burn to the eyes is one of the most dangerous types of chemical burns and can cause severe injury. However it can easily be avoided by using the correct safety glasses in the workplace. Paul should never have been in a position where his eyesight was put at risk in this way.”
Fiona Belgian from Thompsons Solicitors’ Cumbria Team said: “It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure the workforce is provided with the appropriate safety equipment to undertake a job. In this case goggles had been provided but they were not the right type to protect Mr Thomas adequately.”
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