Date PostedApril 2, 2013

Workplace Eye Injury Receives $852,000 payout

protective eyewearA man that was suffered a severe eye injury at work has been awarded $852,000 in damages. Craig Kenneth Johnson received a penetrating wound to his eye in an accident that happened in 2006.

The judgment was handed down in the ACT Supreme Court last week.

At the time of he accident he was using the wrong tools to change the brake pads on a car at a Canberra smash repair company.

During the hearing the court heard that Mr Johnson was removing a spring from a bake assembly with a pair of long nosed pliers in April 2006. However the pliers slipped off the end of the spring and penetrated his left eye.

He was transported, after the accident, to the Calvary Hospital where he had surgery in an attempt to save his eyeball.

After three days Mr Johnson was taken to the Sydney Eye Hospital where he stayed for eight days and found out that his eye had actually been saved.

However he was left with impairment to his vision and suffers problems with depth perception and double vision that are ongoing.

In the years after the accident Mr Johnson developed depression and a problem with alcohol. He said at the hearing that he became self conscious because of the misshapen appearance of his eye.

Mr Johnson was 22 years old at the time of the incident and was a panel beating apprentice, he qualified in that trade in 2008.

However he said to that court that the impairment with his vision meant that he struggled to line up panels, join wires and with soldering, welding and grinding.

His employer at the time of the incident admitted liability but disagreed with the extent to which Mr Johnson’s earning capacity had been affected by the injury.

The judge ruled that Mr Johnson had not been trained to do the work, was not wearing eye protection, did not have the correct equipment and was not supervised.

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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