£3,750 damages for CWU member after spill on slippery flooring


Simpson Millar has helped an assistant printer secure compensation after a workplace fall on slippery flooring caused cartilage damage to his wrist.

In Autumn 2009, our client was cleaning an ink pump from a printing machine, part of which task involved carrying a bucket of solvent towards a waste barrow. But he fell suddenly, spilling solvent on the floor and on himself, when he lost control of his right foot on flooring made slippery by fresh paint.

In fact, the floor had been repainted about a fortnight before the accident. More crucially, the new paint was smooth in texture and, not being anti-slip, had allowed the surface much less traction than it had before the paint was applied.

Acutely aware that solvent can burn, the worker got up as quickly as he could from the slippery floor to clean himself off. However, the fall had caused him to sustain cartilage damage in his right wrist, flaked bone in his right hand and pain in his back, which would continue to trouble him for some time.

The mishap forced him off work from October 2009 to January 2010, a period during which he lost his regular wages and an attendance bonus of £350. Because of his injuries the worker was also unable to carry out a wide range of day-to-day tasks, instead relying on his family for support through his recovery.

The CWU asked us to pursue compensation for the printer on the grounds of his employer's negligence. The company had failed to provide and maintain suitable equipment and a supervised place of work and had failed to carry out or review any risk assessments. In all, there were 15 breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992.

After some delay, during which the defendant tried unsuccessfully to pass responsibility for the incident to the painting contractors, we were able to help our client conclude his claim, achieving a settlement of £3,750.

When he got back to work, our client noted that the floor had been repainted with a new, grit-textured paint.

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