A woman who was left disabled after she tripped on a faulty step at work has received £20,000 in compensation.

Alain Sargent, 50, from Westgate on Sea in Kent received the accident compensation after she contacted her union the PCS following the fall.

At the time of the accident Alain was working as an administrative officer for the Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus in St Peter’s Park Road, Broadstairs.

The PCS instructed its lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors which pursued a claim for compensation against Dalkia Plc, which maintained the building on behalf of the DWP.

Dalkia admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Heel became caught on metal edging on stairway

Alain fell after her right heel got caught in a metal edging on the internal stairway of her office building.

She somersaulted down the stairs narrowly missing hitting her head against the wall. As a result of the accident she was left with deep bruising to her hands, feet, hip, lower back and left knee.

Alain was off work for more than six weeks following the accident. She now suffers from severe back pain which means she must claim Disability Living Allowance and has mobility difficulties.

She said: “I led a very active and busy lifestyle before the accident. I used to power walk at lunch time every day. I also used to do Latin American and old-time ballroom dancing which I have been unable to do since the accident. It has totally changed my life. I am now registered disabled and I need someone to assist me for around 30 minutes every day. It is difficult to believe a faulty stair could change my life so dramatically.”

Slips and trips are the single most common cause of injury in UK workplaces

Emma Wiles, Director of Legal Services at the PCS added: “Slips and trips are the single most common cause of injury in UK workplaces. Avoiding falls should be a major priority for those responsible for the maintenance of office buildings."

Kam Singh from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This accident could have been avoided by having in place a simple inspection programme to ensure the steps were well maintained. Once defects were reported they should have been dealt with instantly. Because of the inability to keep these steps safe Ms Sargent’s life has been dramatically affected.”