West Midlands Worker Loses Sight In Right Eye In Mower Accident

Lawyer Calls For Employers To Learn Lessons From Eye Injury At Work

27.10.2010

A 25 year old Black Country landscape gardener, who has lost the sight in his right eye after a horrific accident at work, is urging employers to highlight the importance of wearing safety goggles to staff.

Ashley Brabbin from Pelsall in Walsall was hit in the eye by a flying metal object, whilst he was cutting a grass verge, using a ride-on mower.

Mr Brabbin, who was employed at the time by Glendale Managed Services Ltd, had been mowing the four-foot-high hedge at Wyrley Birch Allotments in Erdington, in October 2009, when the accident happened.

Though he had visually checked the area for debris before starting the work as he started mowing, he glanced back to check that the grass was cutting properly and was hit in the eye by a flying metal object.

Permanent Loss Of Sight As A Result Of Eye Damage

He was rushed to Good Hope Hospital and was later transferred to the Midlands Eye Hospital but, despite several attempts by doctors to repair the damage to his eye, he has now been left with permanent loss of sight.

Toni Knott, a workplace accident expert with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors says that important health and safety lessons must now be learnt from this accident. “The Health and Safety Executive, like many organisations, is facing a huge strain on resources,” she explained. “And so it is more important than ever that employer’s make safety in the workplace a top priority to prevent further suffering.

“Ashley’s employers should have provided their workers with safety goggles. With the correct glasses this accident should have been avoided as could the extremely unpleasant injury which has left him with permanent loss of sight in one eye. 

“At this stage we cannot rule out the possibility that Ashley may lose the eye completely and, as a result, need a prosthetic. We also cannot say at this stage if there is likely to be any impairment to the sight in his left eye in the long term.

“Ashley’s case is a long way off settlement, due to the uncertainty of his prognosis at the present time.  What is important, however, is that liability has now been admitted.

Ashley has received interim payments in respect of his loss of earnings and he has the benefit of rehab support during a difficult and uncertain time of his life.”

Mr Brabbin commented: “As a result of what happened, I now have to learn to live with the fact that I will never be able to see out of my right eye.  I am trying to stay positive even though currently my future is uncertain.

“I hope that both my employer and other firms will learn from my accident.  I would like to think that the same thing will not happen to anyone else. As a result, I hope one day to re-train to become a Health and Safety Officer so that I can highlight and eliminate hazards in the workplace and hopefully prevent accidents such as this in the future.”