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To Seek Compensation?

(34 Posts)
charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 00:47:54

First of all let me say that I work in a legal capacity and I am not for compensation claims.

I have previously had an accident at work and did not claim despite the fact it caused much pain and problems with an injury I already had.

Secondly my daughter was in an accident at school and again although the school were at fault, I did not want to take money from the school and also if I had of brought a claim there would have been problems in the future for activities for the children. (Daughter was doing something without wearing the correct uniform/footwear and had a nasty foot injury).

Anyways here is my dilemma, I slipped at work on the ice because the entrance had not been gritted properly. Of course snow and ice happen, and ordinarily I would just put up and shut up, but this happened last year and 3 employees had accidents, this year another 3 including me, there's nothing serious.

I have damaged my shoulder and required hospital treastment, I am on very strong meds and in considerable pain. I am off work fully paid but unable to do overtime which is in abundance at the moment, therefore losing £100 a week.

It's not about the money really, but it's more about them pulling their finger out and making our work place safe.

I have been told they ran out of grit a week before and that a contract to clear the area with council had not been renewed.

I am worried about the future, with a back problem to start and now this, I could potentially find myself at 40/50 with serious issues and popping pills.

When I read this back I know I will think I am BU, if I had fell in Asda I would have no problem, but going for this with my employer worries me.

Does anyone have any advice?

My husband has typed this for me as I only have the one working arm at the moment.

Thank you.

maddy68 Tue 07-Dec-10 00:51:28

they are not liable as it is an 'act of god' thats why companies dont clear it away anymore as if they clear it, then they have done something to the pavement that could make it slippy and fall, so therefore you dont have a claim

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 00:54:11

I have been told there is a law that means they have to make their premises safe, which they did not. I am in the legal field although I deal in family cases so this isn't my field.

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 00:58:11

If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property for example, on your employer’s premises, a car park or in a supermarket then the owner of the property will have a duty of care which means you can claim against the owner and occupier under the Occupier’s Liability Act which requires the owner to provide safe access to any lawful visitors.

jasper Tue 07-Dec-10 00:58:51


booyhohoho Tue 07-Dec-10 01:01:43

claiming will not prevent you having serious issues and popping pills in the future. claiming will only put money in your bank account and you aren't out of pocket. you are being fully paid. the only reason i would claim would be if the injury meant i would incurr ongoing expenses like medication or taxis to hospital appointments.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 07-Dec-10 01:03:52

YANBU, I think. If three employees slipped and hurt themselves last year, it is reasonably foreseeable that, with ice and snow as they are this year, other employees might suffer the same this year; and they have. Your employers should have taken steps to ensure that their own premises are safe for staff and, by not gritting, they have not.

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 01:05:44

Well I have paid £21 in prescriptions already and that's after 4 days.

the advice I have been given is that it is brought to attention now then if I have problems in the future I will be in a better position.

Let's say I recover and in 5 years can't work because of the problems?

I know IABU but I feel like it neds to be taken seriously, imagine if next year someone slips and falls on their head and it is very serious?

Or should I contact head office or make a complaint to health and satefty so this issue is at the fore front of their mind next winter?

Also one of the people who fell was heavily pregnant and luckily no problems after being checked out, but what if?

I think I know my answer, I need to more try and make them take notice of the sitation for everyone, rather than me financially.

And yes whilst compensation would be nice, I am not in need of money so that isn't my goal.

hobbgoblin Tue 07-Dec-10 01:07:11

If your concerns lie as you say then your first call ought to be to the HSE imo.

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 01:07:34

Thanks Old lady, I don't want this post to sound like I am some money grabber as I am not, in fact I hate hearing about people asking for compensation, I think my goal is to really make them sit up and listen and make sure our working environment is safe.

As for an act of god, the snow had been there 5 days and still ungritted which just defies belief!

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 01:08:40

Thanks I think I will contact HSE tomorrow and see what they say.

Funnily enough the day after my accident the surrounding area was completely gritted and cleared of snow......

jasper Tue 07-Dec-10 01:10:16

I am an employer .
My three employees wisely left their cars at home today and walked carefully a mile or so on a slippy surface to get to work.

They could have slipped and fallen at any point.

If that point had been at the entrance to work should they sue me for compensation?

booyhohoho Tue 07-Dec-10 01:10:47

yes OP i think you need to speak to whoever is responsible for keeping that area safe. claiming will only get their back's up, but going to them with a valid complaint and requesting a swifty response will hopefully prevent it happening again.

EminentlyImminent Tue 07-Dec-10 01:10:55

I work in the legal field too (not PI so take any of my advice with a large pinch of salt) but I would think that they could well be liable but you'd have to be more specific on the entrance (e.g. if the door to your office is off of the public street than the pavement would not be their premises - it would be considered the council's premises).

I would see if you can get some legal advice quickly. I'd recommend Thompsons - have a read of their example successful cases and ask DH to fill in their claim form online and see what they come back with. They should be able to give you a good idea of the strength of your claim and an idea of level of compensation (be detailed about your injuries and what effect they are having on you) and whether they can proceed on a no win no fee basis (I believe they do this but they're not one of your TV advert firms - have been around years and are the law firm of choice for trade unions for example so their PI practice grew out of this I think so lots of experience with injuries at work). ps. I seriously don't work for them! I am currently instructing on a discrimination law case and I chose another firm but if I had a PI at work claim I would go to them.

And once you've got an idea of strength of claim you can always shop around anyway. Just a good first port of call.

booyhohoho Tue 07-Dec-10 01:11:49

well if it is gritted and cleared now then you don't need to say anything to them, your aim has been achieved.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 07-Dec-10 01:14:20

Glad you're going for the HSE route.

Floozle Tue 07-Dec-10 01:16:02


EminentlyImminent Tue 07-Dec-10 01:21:31

And I don't think you're being money grabbing.

At the moment you have no idea of the long term impact of your injury. The Limitations Act 1980 gives you 3 years to claim from the point of knowledge (.e.g probably the day you slipped at the moment) so it may be that you can take some advice now, see how you go recovering before making a claim, but it doesn't do any harm to know your legal position now. My mum fell in a newsagents due to debris/spillage on the floor about 5 years ago and din't want to sue (because she knew it was a family run business) which is all very nice but she's the one who's had to give up days at work (in a shop - she broke her heel bone and chipped her ankle as well I think) because she just cant stand for as long or over consecutive days anymore so she and my dad are well out of pocket over it and while the newsagent was insured to cover this kind of accident occurring as part of running a business my mum couldn't have insured herself against this happening.

jasper Tue 07-Dec-10 01:39:42

I just saw you said you are off work fully paid.

I cannot believe you are even considering sueing your employer.
do you plan to stay on at this job?
How do you forsee the atmosphere at work if you sue them?

MadamDeathstare Tue 07-Dec-10 01:56:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charley24 Tue 07-Dec-10 03:26:59

thanks for the input it is appreciated, like I said I am being paid, it isn't a money issue, it's more sit up and do something.

They didn't clear the area last year when 3 people fell as the snow was not as bad and a bit of grit sorted it out.

Obviously this year it is very different. The building is located within it's own grounds so I was on their property.

Yes I want to stay in my job, and no my cause is more for something to be in place before this happens again. They may well have cleared it, but it's snowed for the last 4 hours here so same problem comes back.

I also work for a large company, one of the biggest in the UK, this is not a small independant company but someone who should make the health and safety of staff important.

The fall I had previously was not sorted until 12 members of staff had fallen (untreated lino type floor), it seems that they ant us to work, yet don't make the environment safe enough for us.

I respect and thank you for your posts.

Marjee Tue 07-Dec-10 04:01:08

I think yanbu as 3 people had already fallen over so they should have realised that the area was hazardous. I'm very surprised that nothing was done after the first incident, especially considering that you work in the legal field. I hope you make a speedy recovery

onceamai Tue 07-Dec-10 06:39:13

If this is a large company you need to contact the H&S Manager and ensure that a formal report of the accident is made. Due to the fact you are taking time off work, this should be reported to the Health and Safety Executve statutorily. Your company should also be claiming your sick pay back from their insurers. I suggest you have a very calm discussion with the H&S Manager about your options because potentially from what you have said the firm was liable in that they opened in adverse conditions without ensuring appropriate measures were in place to ensure the safety of their staff. The firm should be insured to cover you for your losses and should be taking this seriously. I doubt you will have to do anything particularly formal. Suggest you write a very nice note to HR too when you send in your med. cert.

TyraG Tue 07-Dec-10 06:46:59

Okay why are you so against someone receiving compensation for valid reasons? Would you feel the same way if it was someone else who was hurt slipping on the ice instead of you?

Just curious.

onceamai Tue 07-Dec-10 06:51:49

TyraG - I am suggesting that a very calm discussion with H&S should elicit some compensation without the OP having in any way to be confrontational. I think it is pretty clear that the firm was in breach of H&S regulations and if they are large ought to be bending over backwards to get this sorted out.

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