Fire service employee receives damages after office accident07 November 2011
Suffered multiple injuries
A fire service control worker who suffered multiple injuries when four wall mounted video display panels fell on her has received compensation.
The 46-year-old from Barkingside was injured whilst working in the London Fire Service Control Room in June 2008.
The panels were behind her and fell off without warning, landing on her head, shoulders and ankles.
She was left with a deep cut to her left ankle which has resulted in a two inch scar. She also suffered injuries to her head, neck and shoulders and she had to take three weeks off work.
The injured woman still suffers from pain in her neck and shoulders meaning she must take strong painkillers and needs physiotherapy.
Medical experts found the accident caused the problems with her neck and shoulders to appear two years earlier than they might have.
Pursue a claim for compensation
Following the accident she asked her trade union, the GMB for advice. Its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors were instructed to pursue a claim for compensation.
Investigations by Thompsons found the boards should have been fixed with screws as well as the fixings actually used, but due to access issues the job was never done.
The GMB member said: "It was a huge shock when the boards fell on me. I had no idea they weren't secured properly and that I was standing in what was a very dangerous place.
"I felt strongly that the accident should never have happened and because of my ongoing neck and shoulder problems I decided to pursue compensation."
Paul Hayes, GMB Regional Secretary said: " This injured worker got compensation because she was a GMB member and the union backed her case.
A job was left half done because it appeared too difficult to complete it properly. This was a fundamental failure of health and safety procedures. As a result this member of staff was badly injured and is still suffering pain.
"Employers need to make sure systems are in place to check that maintenance and other work is carried out properly so that accidents like this are avoided."
Andrew Hutson from Thompsons Solicitors added: "This fire service worker was put in a vulnerable position in her workplace due to these boards not being properly secured. It was an accident that could so easily have been preventable and so would have saved the employer money and the victim a great deal of pain and distress. It is only just that she receives compensation for her pain and suffering and the time she has needed to take off from her work.”
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