Why did this Routine Postal Delivery go so Wrong?


A 56 year-old Cheshire postal worker has been awarded compensation following an injury in October 2012 due to a faulty manhole cover.

Manhole cover

When the accident happened the worker was delivering a parcel to a property in Nantwich. Although there appeared to be no-one in at the time, a note pinned to the door advised that the package should be left at the back gate.

Faulty Manhole Cover

As the worker headed through the garden towards the gate, she tripped on a manhole cover, which became upended and caused her to stumble into the hole.

Having sustained severe bruising to her ribcage and her right knee, the worker instructed Simpson Millar LLP via her union, the CWU, to pursue a claim against the property's occupier.

Routine Delivery Risked Injury

We wrote to the householder citing a number of breaches of the Occupiers' Liability Act. Simpson Millar LLP's Ruth Magee clarifies, "This stipulates that visitors to such a property must be reasonably safe when carrying out tasks for which they're lawfully there – a situation which clearly didn't prevail when our client, a postal worker engaged in a routine delivery, was hurt."

The worker was examined by a medical specialist who then prepared a report on her injuries. After some negotiation with the occupier, compensation was finalised at £1,400.

Client Delighted with Our Service

After settlement was reached, the worker praised the support she had received from Simpson Millar LLP, "I was very satisfied with the services, especially the monthly updates," she said. "It was a very smooth transaction."

Confident that her case could raise awareness for others in the same predicament, she concluded that no-one should be afraid to claim after an accident.

Top tips to take away:

  • A faulty manhole cover on private property is usually the responsibility of the householder
  • 27 million working days were lost in the UK in 2011-12 because of work-related illness and workplace injury, according to HSE
  • Although on someone else's property, if you are lawfully there you should expect to be safe

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