Compensation for security guard attacked in the workplace20 January 2009
Assaulted at Work
A security guard who was severely traumatised in an assault has received £180,000 in compensation.
GMB member James Maher, 56, from East London was attacked while working as a security guard for the London Borough of Waltham Forest at the Low Hall Depot in Walthamstow.
He has been left unable to work as a result of the incident which saw him hit repeatedly across the head by the partner of a council worker.
Head and Knee Injuries
He was not seriously injured but has been left with psychological trauma which at times means he cannot leave his home.
He also suffered bruising to his head and needed an operation on his knee.
James worked for the council for 18 years and was licensed by the police to work with the public but never returned to work following the assault. On the day of the incident a misunderstanding by a council worker’s partner led to the attack.
James had warned his bosses on several occasions that the entrance to the security office should be made safer to prevent members of the public gaining access. Lone worker and customer care training should also have been provided to help James manage dangerous situations.
The council admitted liability for the accident and settled for £180,000 just two days before the case was due to be heard in court.
No criminal charges have been brought against the attacker.
Union instructed claims specialists, Thompsons Solicitors
Mr Maher contacted his union, the GMB, following the accident which instructed its lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors.
Mr Maher said: “When I first started the job I warned them about the entrance to the security cabin and asked if something could be done to prevent anyone walking in off the street. Nothing was ever done about it.
“I haven’t worked since the assault. My confidence has been affected by what happened and I hardly go out anymore. I don’t think I will ever go back to work.”
Rosie Conroy from the GMB said: “Mr Maher suffered severe psychological trauma and whilst not seriously injured he will suffer the mental effects for the rest of his life. The compensation agreed reflects the fact that if he ever does return to work he is likely to earn minimum wage.”
Natalie Shelley from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Had the council carried out a thorough risk assessment of staff security before the assault the assailant would not have been able to gain access to the premises. Employers should do all they can to provide their staff with a safe working environment.”
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