A British council worker successfully sued Birmingham City Council, after a toilet seat broke, whilst being used. The incident caused the man minor injuries, and he was awarded £1,750 ($2,800). This was just one of hundreds of compensation claims pursued against Birmingham City Council, amounting to over £5 million in the last 5 years.
Of course, the taxpayer is left to foot the bill, and, particularly in the current economic climate, every possible action must be taken to reduce these bills, that are replicated across the country.
Birmingham City Council has been named as one of the hardest hit local councils by the increase in the amount of work accident compensation claims in the UK. Areas that have proven particularly costly for the council, in trems of compensation claims, were asbestos exposure and insufficient safety training for workers.
In just 9 months £500,000 was paid out in 128 employer liability claims. Although safety in the workplace cannot be guaranteed, it would appear that the council must tighten it’s training procedures and perhaps review internal health and safety policies in order to make for a safer working environment.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson commented:
“The claims brought against the council represent around 0.4 per cent of the council’s workforce.”
“The health, safety and welfare of the council’s employees is a paramount consideration and the council prides itself on the way that safety is actively managed within the council and wider community.”
There seems to be an overriding sense that the wide reporting of such compensation claims simply serves to encourage this so-called ‘suing culture’ that people often speak of. However, the primary aim of such cases is to recompense those unfortunate enough to be involved in a workplace accident, as well as preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future.