Could this story only happen in the UK? Read on and see what you think.
A UK council worker was erecting safety notices in January 2010 when he had an accident. The signs were a warning about taking care on ice and snow. Perhaps he should have heeded the warning. The unnamed man injured his back, neck, wrist and arms. His accident is set to cost Leicester Council dearly.
The Telegraph has reported that the council has ordered , "150 pairs of special slip-on shoe soles with studs for winter weather, costing £13 each, to avoid similar injuries to outdoor workers in future". It has also set aside £70,000 for legal costs and the man's compensation.
Of course we do not know the extent of the man's injuries. However look at an article earlier this week about Canadian military veterans. It highlighted, "One of the examples quoted is that of a young soldier who had both legs shattered and was awarded a lump sum payment of $13,500". What price a hero, I wonder? Not as much as a UK council worker it seems.
The Mayor of Leicester commented, "It's important the council takes its responsibilities to staff and members of the public seriously, while not going health and safety mad. However, councils and other large organisations have increasingly found themselves targeted by lawyers who encourage people to make claims. The Government needs to look at the best way to give those with genuine injuries access to justice, while deterring lawyers who are out to make a quick buck."
Details of this case have only been made public this week. The UK coalition government has already pledged to cut back on an increasing compensation culture in the UK. However if it is not careful the government could prevent genuine claims going ahead.
Only in the UK though could the erection of safety signs cause an accident which ultimately cost a City council £70,000. I ask you?
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog