Multiple Health and Safety Failings Blights Council and Taxpayers

The Northamptonshire County Council have had to pay more than £350,000 in compensation claims between 2006 and 2011, according to a news report in the Daily Mail. The claims vary widely from an employee who was injured by a splinter, costing the council £200, to another employee who was injured after a shutter door hit them resulting in throwing in through the air, costing £11,125 in compensation.

Multiple Claims for Varying Degrees of Injuries

The largest claim came after a fireman was hurt during a routine fire drill.  The injured fireman won a pay-out of £90,517 as his lower back was seriously hurt in the accident.  There was also a pay out of £32,010 after an employee slipped on some spilt food causing bruising when lifting a table through a dining room.  Another member of stay was awarded £5,500 after their ill-fitting uniform caused a spinal injury and £500 was paid out because one worker was hurt when a bling fell on them in the workplace. In addition to these compensation payments a further £7,500 was paid to a woman who jarred her back after she tried to sit down and someone pulled the chair out from behind her. Another woman received £12,000 after suffering from soft tissue damage after pots and pans fell on her when she opened a cupboard.

Concerns Over Rise of the Compensation Culture

The amount of claims within the local government sector has caused some concerns about the high level of compensation culture. While many of the claims were legitimate there is some disquiet as to whether some people are making claims purely to receive some easy come money.  The Political Director of the TaxPayer’s Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, has expressed his worries, stating that the compensation claims being paid for by the taxpayers is now unacceptably high.  While there are accidents it’s not necessary for council employees to decide to fleece the UK taxpayers out of their hard earned money.  Mr Isaby stated that he thinks councils should be fighting these claims to ensure that taxpayers aren’t being taken advantage of.

Businesses Need to Protect Against Cost of Compensation Pay Outs

This news story goes to show that besides fears of fines and possible prison sentences businesses need to be concerned about the cost of compensation.  The money is sought after by the injured party often who uses a solicitor offering no win no fee services. Compensation is paid out for additional health care costs, loss of income and the impact the injury has had on their usual day to day existence.  The cost of compensation often follows the prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive who have prosecuted the firm following breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and other Regulations.

If you would like advice on how to provide a safe and healthy work environment the health and safety consultants have numerous ways to help you.  Call 0800 1488 677 and ask about the occupational health and safety services available.

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