A horticultural worker who was nearly blinded while pruning a cactus plant is suing his former employers for eye injury compensation.
Carl Woodbridge was pruning cactus plants when the accident happened. He had successfully pruned several large similar plants before the accident happened. As he cut into one plant the toxic sap squirted from the branch and landed in his right eye, neck and face. The sap burned the cornea in his eye and he was temporarily blinded. He was rushed to hospital where after intense eye cleaning, staff removed a latex like layer of sap glue from his eye. He lost vision in the eye for a week.
Mr Woodbridge was working for a subsidiary of Rentokil Initial UK who were responsible for maintaining the cactus plants in the Milton Keynes shopping centre. Last week the company was fined £12,000 by Milton Keynes Magistrate’s Court in relation to breaking Health and Safety laws. The Court found that he had not been given adequate information and training on performing the pruning duties, and was not wearing protective clothing such as safety goggles which could have prevented serious injury.
Carl is now seeking compensation for his eye injury after being forced to take six weeks off work to recover. Although his sight has returned he is required to wear special glasses which are fitted with anti-glare lenses. He no longer works for the company, and has found work as a roofer.