Northampton County Council have had to confirm that they have paid out more than half a million pounds to staff members making 51 Personal Injury compensation claims between April 2006 and March 2011.
Bizarrely, one employee received a payout of £5,500 after suffering a spinal injury caused by a “poorly-fitting uniform”, the council has revealed. This may well be the oddest Personal Injury claim I have ever heard of!
Another odd claim, albeit a small one has been confirmed whereby a Northamptonshire County Council employee received £200 in compensation over a “large” splinter that caused a “hand injury”.
Unsurprisingly, the council stated that all claims followed a “rigorous assessment process” and that payments had only been made when the council were proven to be liable for the injuries sustained.
The details about the settlements and claims came after a Freedom of Information request.
Other claims included a woman who was paid £7,500 after she went to sit down and someone moved the chair so she fell over and jarred her back. It sounds odd on face value, but it must have been that a lack of training and management had lead to staff not working safely, rather than a staff member simply pulling a prank. You would struggle to hold your employer liable for injuries caused to you by a colleague playing the fool.
A spokesman from the council said: “We would like to point out that the council and our claims handlers have a rigorous assessment process for dealing with insurance claims, every single one of which is robustly checked. “With nearly 18,000 employees, unfortunately accidents do happen. What we try to do with our health and safety policies and our staff training is minimise the risks of accidents happening. “We also have procedures in place if things do go wrong to ensure any lessons are learned.”
It seems that Northampton Council have a fair amount of learning to do, should they wish to reduce the amount of compensation that they are forced to pay to victims of personal injuries within their workplaces.