Council fined after ignoring safety warnings

A council accused of ignoring complaints from staff about a health and safety risk has paid £10,250 in compensation after an employee damaged her back.

Sharon Kerry, the hostel duty officer for Leicester City Council, was putting money into a safe when she hurt her back in October 2007. Sharon’s accident was found to have accelerated a pre-existing back condition by two to three years. She is now deciding whether to undergo surgery for her injury. Employees had complained on a number of occasions about the position of the safe, which was on the floor. Users had to kneel or bend down to access it.

Following the accident, Sharon, who has worked for the council for six years, contacted her union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompson’s Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Leicester City Council admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.