x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Untrained blacksmith blinded while sharpening blade

Two men at company were fined Dh5,000 over the workplace accident in which a blacksmith was blinded.

DUBAI // Two men have been fined Dh5,000 each over a workplace incident that left a blacksmith blind in one eye.

The blacksmith had been grinding a blade when it broke off and flew into his face, shattering his protective goggles and lodging itself in his eye.

The Misdemeanour Court heard the incident took place on December 13 when the blacksmith RR was working late into the night at the company's headquarters in Jebel Ali.

Colleagues called emergency services after finding him unconscious and in a pool of blood. He remained unconscious for a further two days before waking up to find he could no longer see from his left eye. He also sustained minor injuries in his right eye, nose and cheeks.

Prosecutors charged JB, 46, a supervisor, and AR, 26, a safety officer, both from India, with unintentionally posing a risk to the safety of the blacksmith.

They said that the pair had failed to ensure adequate safety measures and failed to properly train their workers.

The blacksmith said he had never received any training, despite having worked for the company for five years. He learnt the job by watching others.

The safety officer, who left the company six months after the incident, pleaded not guilty. "I wasn't even there that day, I was called later by police," he said.

A safety inspector from the Dubai Free Zone told prosecutors that the company were slow in reporting the incident. "They reported it 20 days later," said the inspector JA.