A nursery worker who was forced to change her career after she was badly injured in the workplace has received £7,500 in compensation.

The GMB member, who does not wish to be named, slipped on a freshly mopped floor at the Foleshill Children’s Centre’s creche in Coventry.

The 43-year-old had just arrived at work when the accident happened in March 2007. The cleaner had not put up wet floor warning signs.

The member, who worked with babies aged under two, landed badly on her left hip, causing a serious strain. She also suffered a soft tissue injury to both her thumbs as she fell.

Unable to work effectively after accident

She had to take a week off work and when she returned she was unable to crouch down to make eye contact with the babies (an integral aspect of her job) and unable to change nappies or hold the children. 

The member felt she was unable to work effectively in her role due to the nature of her injuries and felt she had no choice but to apply for a more suitable job working with secondary school pupils. 

She said: “I’m now in pain when I try to get down to toddlers and babies’ levels. In the end I felt I had no alternative but to rethink my career and apply for a job working in secondary schools because I couldn’t continue to work with the under two’s to the best of my ability. 

“It is difficult to believe that what may sound like a minor accident has forced me to change my entire career.”

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

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

Thompsons argued that Coventry City Council should have made sure the cleaner was fully aware of the need to put out ‘wet floor’ signs after mopping. The council admitted liability and settled out of court. 

Pauline Hinks from the GMB said: “The lack of proper training of the cleaner has had a profound effect on this member who has ultimately had to change her job as a result of this accident.

“Warning signs have an important health and safety role and it was the council’s job to make sure its staff used them rather than leaving an unmarked skating rink.”

Yvonne Peel from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Childrens’ centres are popular places, used by scores of parents and their children throughout the day. This accident which could have happened to any unsuspecting member of staff or visitor could easily have been avoided by basic health and safety.”