I was Injured Because of a Tripping Hazard at Work – Can I Claim?


A Royal Mail employee who fell at work because of a tripping hazard has been awarded £6,000 for his injuries.

Slip Trip Fall Injury

Tripping Hazard in the Van

The 56-year-old man had worked at Royal Mail for 10 years at the time of his accident. He was delivering mail to Bristol Airport. The airport was quite dark when he got there and the lights on his van were not working. The defect had been brought to the attention of Royal Mail but nothing had been done about it.

He had already unloaded half of the trolleys containing mail, called yorks, when the accident occurred. The tail lift on the back of the van could only lower 2 yorks at a time. As he was preparing to push more yorks onto the tail lift, his foot got caught in a strap that is usually used to secure the trolleys. This was a tripping hazard and the man fell. He injured his wrist and ribs in the fall.

He insisted he was fine to the people around him but he was in considerable pain. The first-aider took him back to the depot where his wrist continued to swell and his ribs began to feel bruised. When he arrived at his local hospital, he was found to have a broken wrist.

Accident Ruins Family Holiday

As a result of the accident, his wrist was in plaster and he had to be off work for 5 weeks in total. During this time, he was unable to drive so his wife and daughter had to drive him everywhere. Not only did this injury stop the man from working, it also ruined a pre-booked family holiday. Fortunately, it did not leave the man or his family out of pocket as they had travel insurance to cover the cancellation.

Royal Mail carried out an investigation after the accident and found that the man was not to blame for the tripping hazard.

After being contacted by the man's trade union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Simpson Millar LLP wrote to Royal Mail. Royal Mail initially denied they were responsible for the man's injuries. They said he should have secured all straps before loading the van or at least noticed the strap while he was unloading.

Simpson Millar LLP Lay Out the Facts

We argued on behalf of the man that poor lighting and the presence of the strap in the first place where to blame. The straps were usually not kept in the van for safety reasons. He would not have expected to come across any loose straps for this reason.

We knew that by denying they were responsible they were delaying the case, so we filed for the case to go through the courts so time did not run out on the injured man. We also got a medical report from an orthopaedic surgeon and made sure the trial date was set.

We put forward an offer to Royal Mail to try and bring closure to the case. Royal Mail then countered our offer, which the Royal Mail worker accepted. He was awarded £6,000.

Top Tips to Take Home

  • Even if you are not at your work premises, if you are injured you can still claim compensation
  • When responsibility for the accident is denied, the right solicitor can still get you a good compensation settlement
  • If you are part of a trade union, they can often recommend a good solicitor

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