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Worker blinded in one eye after being struck by wiring

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

An Edinburgh-based company has been fined after one of its employees was struck in the eye by a piece of wire that left him blind in one eye. 20-year-old Declan Shipcott, from Alexandria, was working for Viridor Enviroscot at its Glasgow-based materials recycling facility when the accident happened two years ago.

It was heard at Airdrie Sherriff Court that Mr Shipcott had been helping two colleagues clear a blockage in a machine. The wire cutters he was using allowed a piece of wire to bounce and strike him on the face. He was unfortunately not wearing any eye protection when the workplace accident happened.

It was heard that the company had failed to distribute, or ensure the use of, personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses for work of this type. Following the incident, Mr Shipcott had to undergo surgery to remove the damaged lens and re-attach his retina.

£14.2 billion paid out to injured workers

Viridor Enviroscot pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations. Following the case, HSE inspector Aileen Jardine said: “The simple act of donning eye protection before working with high-tensile wire may well have prevented this incident taking place.” The injuries have been life-changing for Mr Shipcott.

According to HSE statistics, 2013/14 saw 133 workers killed at work, alongside 78,000 injuries reported under RIDDOR and 629,000 injuries recorded by the Labour Force Survey. Around £14.2 billion was paid out as a result of injuries at work.

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