A security guard who underwent knee surgery and had to take four months off work after slipping on a wet floor caused by a leaking tap has secured a £6,000 settlement from his employer.

Colin Hillyard from Cheltenham was working at his company’s site in the town in September 2009 when he slipped on a toilet floor, which was wet because of a leaking tap.

Colin, 60, was unable to move his leg due to swelling the day after the accident which aggravated a pre-existing weakness in his right knee. He had to take three months off work while he waited for an operation and it took a further month for him to recover from his surgery.

The PCS member contacted his union for advice

A member of PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union, for more than eight years, Colin contacted his union representatives who instructed personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors to take up his case for compensation.

He said: “It all happened so fast. I walked into the toilet, flicked on the light switch and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor in a lot of pain.

“The accident restricted much of my daily routine, as I had difficulty walking any distance. I had to rely on other family members to help walk my German Shepherd dog and drive me around for the four months it took me to recover.

“My employer was supportive after the injury, but that doesn’t change the fact that the accident could have been easily prevented by simply fixing or replacing the tap.”

Failure to maintain a safe modern workplace is unacceptable

Carl Banks, PCS health and safety officer, said: “Colin’s case highlights that seemingly small and easily sorted problems, such as a leaking tap, can have serious consequences. A lack of a system for proper maintenance resulted in a member of staff being unable to work for four months and having to undergo knee surgery.

“The message to our members is that careless practices in the modern workplace are unacceptable and we would encourage members who know that this goes on where they work to contact the PCS.”

David Coulthard from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This seemingly simple case was legally complicated by the fact that there were three potential defendants all of whom blamed each other for the defective tap.

“We come across the blame game a lot in cases so we cut to the chase and issued claims against Mr Hillyard’s employer, the occupier and the owner of the site. They quickly sorted out the blame game and we got a successful conclusion for our client.”