A former maintenance officer, who was forced to retire from his job after an accident at work, has been awarded £17,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for a fall down stairs at work.
The unnamed 61-year-old from Wakefield in West Yorkshire was employed at the West Yorkshire Police Headquarters in November 2008 when his accident at work happened. Slipping at the top of a flight of stairs leading down to the basement of the building, the civilian employee fell down the complete flight of stairs, hitting his head against a wall and straining his back as he fell.
Due to his injuries, the maintenance officer had to take eight months off from work and, when he returned to his job, was only capable of doing light duties. Eventually his inability to lift without pain made it impossible to maintain his employment and he took early retirement.
After seeking legal advice, it was established that the fall down the flight of stairs could have been prevented had a handrail been affixed to the wall and the former West Yorkshire Police employee made a claim for a fall down stairs at work against the police authority.
West Yorkshire Police denied their responsibility for the accident and the maintenance officer´s back injury and court proceedings were issued for the claim to be heard at Leeds County Court. After hearing about the accident, the judge found the police authority negligent for failing to conduct a risk assessment and install a handrail on the flight of stairs.
The judge also found that, due to the nature of the claimant´s back and head injuries, his working life had been curtailed by six months with the resultant loss of income. The judge awarded the former maintenance office £17,000 compensation plus costs in settlement of his claim for a fall down stairs at work.