A Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union member who was forced to change jobs after a serious workplace accident has received more than £10,000 in compensation.

The 53-year-old from Middlesex, a receptionist for the Metropolitan Police Service, was left with serious whiplash injuries to her shoulder and neck following the accident in May 2007.

Her injuries meant she was unable to continue with her job at Acton Police Station as it included monitoring security screens above head-height, which caused her pain.

She is now working at a different Police Station.

She suffered whiplash when her foot caught on loose wires underneath her desk as she was standing up. Following the accident she needed intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Complained to management about the hazard three months earlier

She had complained to management about the hazard three months earlier but nothing had been done to fix the problem.

Her injuries mean she is unable to lift and cannot do the gardening. She also finds it difficult to do the ironing. She has been told she is likely to suffer from pain in her neck and shoulder for life.

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

Thompsons argued the wires should have been secured when the problem was first highlighted by their client.

The Metropolitan Police admitted liability and settled the case out of court.

The PCS member said: “I’m angry I am now living with this injury when I had previously warned my employers about those wires. I now find it difficult to do many things which I took for granted. I’ve had to change where I work because I was in too much pain doing my job at Acton Police Station.”

Health and safety in the workplace should take priority

John Thornton, PCS national officer said: “Loose wires are an obvious tripping hazard and to make matters worse our member had already warned her employers about the problem. Health and safety in the workplace should take priority. These wires should have been fixed as soon as a problem was recognised.”

Andrew Hutson from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Employers should take their health and safety duties seriously. The Metropolitan Police’s failure to undertake a risk assessment or to heed sensible complaints has left our client with long term limitations.”