Support worker suffers slip injury

In this case, our client, who was a support worker at the Riddrie Day Centre and employed by the Glasgow City Council, was involved in a workplace accident on 6 January 2016.

The Centre cares for adults with incapacity and complex needs. On the day of her accident, our client and a colleague were assisting a service user with their personal care, helping them change. She was working in a particular type of room, Argo Room 1, which has a bed with a sluice and a drain underneath, as well as an integral shower. If the showers were used, the water would have to be mopped to go down the drain. On this occasion, our client had not used the shower.

After she had finished assisting the service user, she walked past the bed to put something in the bin. As she did so, she slipped on a spillage. To stop her fall, she grabbed the bed railing, but she still twisted her left knee.

The consequences

Our client's knee was checked over by a physiotherapist on site. As she was unable to continue working, she returned home. Her knee was still painful the next day, so she visited a hospital, where she was told she had ligament damage. She was given a support bandage, crutches, and painkillers. She was also offered advice on suitable exercises to help with rehabilitation.

She also visited her GP, who advised her to have physiotherapy sessions. She obtained a physiotherapy referral through her occupational health service for a small number of sessions, but found that these did not help her too much, as she still struggled with knee pain. She was absent from work from the date of the accident until March 2016, at which time she returned to work on light duties. She didn't sustain any loss of earnings during this time.

The knee injury affected our client's life in several ways; she needed help from her partner with shopping and housework, and she was also unable to walk her dog. What's more, our client had enjoyed several active hobbies, including running and high impact fitness classes. She was forced to take a break from these during her recovery period.

The workplace slip accident also happened just a couple of weeks before our client's 40th birthday. She and her partner had planned to go away but were unable to because of the knee injury.

Overall, our client's knee injury took six months to settle (heal).

The settlement

Because no water had been used by our client or her colleague during the care of the service user on the day of the accident, our client was sure that she hadn't caused the spillage. She also believed that no other employee had been using the shower before she worked in the room. The spillage is believed to have come from the toilet/sluice unit in the room.

Our client was able to instruct Thompsons Solicitors through her union, USDAW.

As our client was not at fault, we were confident of her chances of success and took on her case. We intimated a claim to her employer, making reference to the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Although the defender did not admit liability, our work accident solicitors were able to settle the case pre-litigation for a sum of £2,950.

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