£30,000 for work injury

Posted: 7th January 2013

Lorry22A woman who injured her ankle after she slipped and fell at work has won damages of £30,000.

Katrin Weiss worked as an operations manager for a manufacturer of doors and window frames in Rotherham. She was working late to cover for a colleague who was absent from work, helping to load goods onto a lorry. She had not been given any formal health and safety training and had not been instructed how to perform the task safely.

The accident happened when Ms Weiss was climbing over a pallet to reach the final items to be loaded onto the lorry. The pallet was covered with a sheet of plywood, concealing its edges. When she climbed back down, the plywood gave way and she slipped and fell.

She was taken to Northern General Hospital, where she was told that she had torn the ligaments in her ankle and that an operation would be required. Two screws were inserted into her ankle, but it did not heal and she had to have two further operations. She also underwent physiotherapy.

While she recovered, Ms Weiss required help from her partner with everyday tasks such as washing and getting dressed. She now has a five-and-a-half-inch scar on her ankle and a metal frame in her foot, as a result of which she may suffer from a degenerative form of arthritis in later life.

Ms Weiss commenced a personal injury claim against her employer, on the grounds that she had not been given adequate health and safety training and had not been made aware of the risks involved in the work she was doing when the accident occurred. Her case has now been settled and damages of £30,000 agreed.

Employers have a legal duty to assess health and safety risks in the workplace and to take reasonable steps to remove or minimise those risks. If you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us for advice on making a claim.