Bank worker's fall due to missing drain cover

Our client in this case worked as a sales and service associate for HSBC bank. He was involved in a workplace accident on 30 November 2015.

On the night of his accident, he had just finished a 2pm to 10pm shift. The building in which he worked had a company car park for employees to use. Because his shift had started late in the day, he'd had to park in a place towards the back of the car park.

He exited the building and proceeded to cross the company car park. As he walked over a drain, his left leg fell into the space below. He hadn't realised that a section of drain cover was missing, creating a very dangerous trip hazard. Although there were lampposts in the car park, they did not light the area very well, making it hard for our client to see the hazard. Feeling immediate pain in his foot, he managed to make it to his car.

The consequences

Our client's pain was bad enough for him to decide he was unfit to drive home. Instead, he made his way back to the building and informed staff of the missing drain cover.

It was here that a first-aider attempted to assist our client. However, she was unsure of the best way to treat him and so asked him what treatment he wanted. When our client informed the first aider that she should be advising him on the best treatment, she put down on the report form that he'd refused treatment. Our client did not agree with this.

He then got a lift to the hospital, where the staff informed our client that, while he hadn't broken his foot, he had done some ligament damage and needed to rest his foot. He was instructed to take ibuprofen.

Following the accident, our client experienced pain in his foot whenever he walked upstairs. Furthermore, he was unable to participate in activities he enjoyed, such as taking his dog for long walks.

The settlement

The HSBC employee was able to instruct Thompsons Work accident solicitors through his union, Unite.

Our client had not been made aware of the drain, nor was he aware of any system in place that allows people to report safety hazards in the car park.

His employer was therefore liable for the accident because they didn't take the appropriate measures to make sure the work premises were safe for all staff.

Our work accident solicitors believed the employer to be in violation of several regulations, including the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

HSBC admitted liability and put forward an initial offer of £1,750. We discussed this offer with our client. Agreeing that it was too low to compensate for his ankle injury, our client instructed us to reject the claim.

This made the defender return with an increased offer, and the case was eventually settled on 25 August 2017 for a sum of £4,300.

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