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A postman who slipped on a manhole cover shortly after being issued with new boots by his employer has won more than £2,000 in compensation for his injuries.
Clive Davey, 47, had refused to wear the boots when they were first given to him, as he had heard that some of his colleagues were having problems because the soles were slippery. However, his manager insisted that he wear them and so he reluctantly agreed to do so.
Just 45 minutes after he first put on the new footwear, however, Mr Davey slipped and fell on a standard manhole cover. He injured his shoulder in the fall: he had previously had surgery on his shoulder and the fall aggravated the injury, leaving him partially disabled.
Fourteen other Royal Mail employees also sought damages for injuries caused because the boots had poor grip. One postman, Patrick Bitton, had slipped, fallen and fractured his ankle while wearing them. At first, Royal Mail denied liability for Mr Bitton’s injuries, even though the company’s own tests suggested that the footwear was dangerous. When the case came to court, however, the judge ruled in Mr Bitton’s favour and he was awarded £3,600.
After this case had been decided, Royal Mail agreed to settle Mr Davey’s claim out of court, as well as those of the 13 other postmen who had suffered injuries. Mr Davey won damages of £2,228.
Employers must provide employees with suitable personal protective clothing and equipment to guard against exposure to health and safety hazards while they are at work. This duty includes making regular inspections to make sure that it is fit for purpose and remedying any defects as soon as they become apparent. Failure to do so can result in a negligence claim if an employee is injured as a result.
If you would like advice on how to make a personal injury claim, contact Richard Forskitt. It is important to take advice early on as there are time limits that apply when making a claim for compensation.