A civil servant member who needed hospital treatment after falling at Gatwick Airport is set to receive compensation after help from the trade union’s legal services.

The 54-year-old from Croydon still suffers from exacerbated arthritis in her knee and limps as a result of tripping over loose wiring in April 2011.

The Home Office employee, who works for Immigration and Passports was going through security at the airport before beginning her shift when she fell over loose wiring from a machine being used by security staff to take swab samples from passengers’ luggage.

She banged her head and right knee as she hit the ground. Her knee immediately swelled and she had to go to hospital.

Thompsons Solicitors pursued a claim for compensation

Following the accident she contacted her trade union, the PCS, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Medical experts said the accident exacerbated arthritis symptoms in her knee for a year.

Thompsons argued that Gatwick Airport, which is responsible for the security area, should have ensured the wires were stored safely.

Gatwick admitted liability and settled the claim for £4,000.

The PCS member said: “I was going through security on a normal morning at work when I suddenly tripped and fell. My knee swelled up and I wasn’t able to walk. Over the next few weeks I struggled through work in pain and limping. I still have pain in the knee and at times it still causes me to limp.”

“By taking a claim for compensation I hope that those responsible at Gatwick will ensure that this sort of accident doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Paul O'Connor, PCS national officer for the Home Office added: ”Our member already suffered an arthritic knee which was exacerbated by this accident and is still causing her problems. We supported her in her claim as the airport should have had a safer system in place to ensure that wires weren’t causing a tripping hazard to both members of the public and those who work in the airport. The government is forever knocking health and safety regulations, but it was a failure to observe the regulations that caused this accident.”

Michael Hildreth-Bell from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Thousands of people pass through Gatwick Airport’s security every day and if wires are left trailing across areas where people are walking it is a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t take much, or cost anything, to put a system in place to ensure that wires aren’t causing unnecessary accidents.”