A Claim for compensation for accident at work against HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) led to £ 9000.00 to be paid out.
The incident happened at the HMRC offices in Peterlee, County Durham. Andrea Swales was five months pregnant when she tripped over on a loose carpet tile in the office and twisted her back.
Fortunately she managed to break her fall by twisting onto a seat so that her baby was protected, but her back was badly injured.
Swales said “When I fell my first instinct was to protect my bump. I hate to imagine what might have happened if I hadn’t managed to break my fall,”
Visiting her doctor after the birth of her daughter, Swales was told she would need physiotherapy and was given pain relief injections.
The civil servant thought initially her back pain was caused by her pregnancy, but after giving birth she realised it was down to the fall. She then lodged her compensation claim.
HMRC admitted liability and she received £9000 in an out-of-court settlement.
She has since returned to work, but is still suffering from back pains.
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”