A bank cashier who fractured her ankle when she fell down a step has received almost £9,000 in compensation.

Jackie Edwards from Basildon in Essex was off sick for six months following the accident at Lloyds TSB’s Benfleet branch.

The Unite member had been seconded to the office to cover for the cashier. She fell as she was carrying two metal boxes from the safe to the cashiers. As she passed through an open door in the passageway she fell down a step fracturing her left ankle, spraining her right ankle and damaging her left knee.

There were no signs warning employees of the hazard.

Six months off work due to accident

Mrs Edwards, who had worked for Lloyds TSB for five years, decided to contact Unite following the accident to make sure the correct health and safety procedures were put in place to avoid future accidents.

Unite instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation. Lloyds TSB admitted liability.

Mrs Edwards, who has a disabled son, said: “This accident meant I had to get help to care for my elderly mum and my disabled son. I was also unable to walk the dog or undertake my hobby speed walking.

“I felt aggrieved I had to spend six months off work when this accident could have been avoided easily and I wanted to make sure no-one else suffered the same fate.”

Accident could easily have been prevented

Andy Frampton from Unite added: “Our member suffered a serious injury which could have easily been prevented had a simple warning sign been in place letting people know there was a step. It is only right she is compensated.”

Anna Konzon from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Under health and safety legislation employers have a general duty of care, which includes addressing this type of hazard. A good management system should be in place so employers can identify problem areas, decide what to do, act on decisions made and check that the steps taken have been effective.”