Construction firm fined after injured worker loses sight

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A Bradford-based construction company has been fined after an employee was injured at work leading to irreversible damage to his right eye.

Pearl Services had been contracted to carry out refurbishment of a retail store in Cheetham Hill, Manchester on 23 February 2020.

Employees were erecting PVC hoarding in the store to separate the refurbishment work area from members of the public.

An apprentice decorator who was helping joiners set up the hoarding, struck one of the PVC panels using a mallet, causing it to splinter. A fragment penetrated his right eye, causing serious injury and loss of sight.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident resulted in a life-changing injury – the person will not regain full sight in his right eye, despite a number of post-accident operations.

An investigation by HSE found that although safety eyewear had been available on site, it had not been made mandatory to wear it. Checks to ensure it was worn had also not been carried out.

Pearl Services had also failed to suitably plan, manage and monitor the project. Risk assessments and method statements had been insufficient. The supervisor had also failed to ensure that any risks were communicated to the workers before they started work.

Pearl Services UK Limited of Euroway Trading Estate, Bradford was fined £16,500 for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Investigating HSE inspector Phil Redman commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by providing suitable information, instruction, supervision and training to site personnel in respect of the fitting of the PVC site hoarding.” Construction firm fined after injured worker loses sight


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