A school caretaker who was employed by an educational establishment in Nottingham has won £25,000 in an accident compensation claim. The man, who was 64 years of age at the time of the accident, was forced into early medical retirement following serious damage sustained to tendons in his neck and left shoulder. The accident compensation claim was made for the incident which occurred in 2008 whilst he was attempting to loosen a bolt which was holding a window closed at the primary school which employed him.
However, someone had previously painted over the bolt which snapped subsequent to the caretaker’s attempt to loosen it by applying pressure with a spanner. The man fell from stepladder, crashing onto the corner of a desk and hitting his head, and neck and shoulder. Extensive physiotherapy was required but the process was unable to rehabilitate him sufficiently to return to his job.
Public service trade union, UNISON instructed a no win no fee accident compensation claim specialist to pursue for damages. The investigation revealed that no system was in place at the primary school to execute inspections on repair assessments to the school. Such a system would have uncovered the fact that the window bolt had been painted over, thus avoiding the injury and need for an accident compensation claim in the first instance. Helen Black, who is the regional secretary for the East Midland branch of UNISON stated that the “school [had] lost a loyal member of staff who was badly injured because an inspection programme had not been implemented” Black went on to say that the “government has redefined schools as ‘low-risk workplaces’, which sends completely the wrong message to those responsible for the health and safety of pupils and staff.”
The court overseeing the accident compensation claim found the case to be easily in the favour of the caretaker. The specialist solicitor argued the case that the simple health and safety features should have been well in place at the school, a course of action which would have avoided the accident entirely.