A delivery driver who had to undergo surgery for an injury he sustained while exiting a secure area in Whitehall has been awarded compensation by the Metropolitan Police.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union member was leaving Whitehall in the van supplied by his employers on 8 September 2009 when a submerged security bollard he was driving over was suddenly released, causing the vehicle to lift two to three feet into the air and crash down with a jolt.

The 47 year-old from London was left unable to work for six months due to neck, back and arm injuries which left him in pain and with very restricted movement. He later received surgery to correct stenosis nerve damage in his neck.

The security bollard was being manually operated at the time due to a fault in the automatic traffic light system and the accident was caused by a member of the Metropolitan police pressing the bollard release button prematurely.

PCS instructed Thompsons Solicitors to represent their member

PCS instructed Thompsons Solicitors to represent their member. Thompsons secured medical evidence which supported the driver’s claim and negotiated a settlement for a significant amount of compensation.

The member said: “Clearly the bollard is necessary for national security, but this accident wasn’t the first or last time someone had been injured by a bollard as they drove through the gates. The Met police tried to play down the severity of my injury and the fact that, even now, I’ve not been offered an apology is almost unbelievable.

“Despite the surgery, I still have to be careful when lifting heavy things at work and have to hang back on being active in case the pain comes back.

“I’ve always been an active person so having to be off work for six months and unable to run around, especially with my two kids, left me feeling down and generally fed up.”

Carl Banks, a health and safety officer at PCS, added: “This member has suffered a great deal of pain and is going to have to cope with ongoing effects for the rest of his life. This accident was completely avoidable through a simple risk assessment and training for the Met officer who was manually operating the bollard.”

Joanne Evans from Thompsons said: “This case highlights the need for proper and simple risk assessments and training. The significant level of compensation we obtained for our client will not make up for his being unable to work with confidence or play with his children in the future.”