A prison officer who had to give up his job after he broke his ankle when he slipped whilst attempting to break up a fight between prisoners has received compensation.

Iain McCallum, 61, from the Isle of Wight needed surgery to repair his right ankle following the accident at HM Prison Camp Hill in Newport, Isle of Wight.

The senior prison officer of almost 30 years was breaking up a fight between two offenders when he slipped on water which had accumulated on the floor from a nearby shower room.

The prisoners were restrained whilst he was left in agony on the floor. He suffered a nasty break in his right ankle which needed surgery to insert a metal plate.

Three years after the accident he needed another operation to remove the metal work which was aggravating his ankle and causing him pain.

Medically retired after accident

Mr McCallum was never able to return to his work at the prison and was medically retired in February 2010.

Following the accident he contacted his trade union, the Prison Officers Association (POA) which instructed its lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors, to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons argued that a door should have been fitted to the shower room to prevent water accumulating on the floor nearby.

The Prison Service admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for £23,000. The service also fitted a door to the showers to resolve the problem.

Mr McCallum said: "I did not intend to end my career as a Prison Officer so soon, and most certainly not in this manner.

I am very grateful to the POA (both local and national) and to Thompsons Solicitors for all their support and hard work in helping me to claim compensation.”

Accident could easily have been avoided

Glyn Travis, Assistant Secretary, Legal Department, from the POA said: “Prison officers have to deal with potentially dangerous situations every day and need to feel confident that their work environment is not working against them as it was for Mr McCallum. Unfortunately an experienced prison officer has had to retire from the service much earlier than planned. This accident could easily have been avoided.”

Christalla Christdoulidou from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This case shows how important it is for employers to pay attention to the working environment. It seems obvious that water from the shower rooms could cause this type of hazard and something should have been done to avoid the accumulation of water before an accident was allowed to happen.”