Tripped On a Faulty BSkyB Street Box


A 57 year-old postal worker from Northolt, Middlesex has received compensation from BSkyB following an accident in which he fell over one of the broadcaster's pavement boxes.

Slip Trip Fall

Cold, Icy Conditions

On an icy 17 December 2011, the postman had just delivered mail to an address in Greenford. Leaving the property by way of the front driveway, he walked back to the road, stepping as he did so on a white BSkyB box.

The box tilted, causing the postman to slip and fall on the 'black ice' that had formed on the cover.

Time Off Work

Having landed heavily on his right elbow, the worker was taken to Ealing Hospital, where X-rays revealed a fracture that would eventually require surgery. For some weeks after the accident he experienced ongoing symptoms and was forced to take time off work.

Poorly Fitted Equipment

Simpson Millar LLP wrote to British Sky Broadcasting alleging that the company had failed in its duty of care. "The postal worker, who was lawfully going about his business, slipped on a BSkyB box cover that had not been fitted correctly and was extremely slippery when it was iced over," Gary Tierney of Simpson Millar LLP said. "Once weight was placed on it the box cover tilted, and our client slipped on the ice."

No Non-slip Grip

Gary noted that the BSkyB had failed to carry out a reasonable system of maintenance and inspection of the cover, which lacked a non-slip grip.

"This case shows that council and service providers, whose equipment is frequently located on the public highway, need to have in place a reasonable system of maintenance and inspection," Gary said. "Failing this, clearly accidents can occur."

With Simpson Millar LLP's help our client received compensation of £15,475.

Top tips to take away:

  • BSkyB boxes and other 'street furniture' are increasingly common features of our public roads and pavements
  • If you're injured after falling over such equipment, either the company which owns/installed the item or the local authority is responsible

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