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Worker wins compensation following accident at work

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

A 55-year-old retail assistant has received £5,000 in compensation after taking a fall at her place of work. Angela Hurcomb, from Hereford, fell down a spiral staircase at Past Times in her home town, and seriously injured her back.  She had been an employee at the business for seven years, and it had recently relocated to the listed building where the accident occurred.  Mrs Hurcomb was unable to return to her place of work for two months following the injury, and continues to experience considerable pain and discomfort despite extensive physiotherapy and treatments to her back and hip.  The victim had been returning to the shop floor after visiting the stock room at the top of the spiral staircase, when she lost her footing on the worn treads of the stairs.  Her employers had previously received complaints from staff about the state of the staircase, however no action had been taken to improve safety.  

Treats on the staircase not up to standard

Mrs Hurcomb appointed solicitors to claim for compensation, and an environmental trading standards officer was sent to the location to examine the staircase.  The inspector found that the treads on the staircase did not come up to standard.  The employers argued that structural alterations could not be carried out as the building was listed, however the officer pointed out that safety improvements could have been made without altering the structure.

Mrs Hurcomb, previously a keen horse-rider, can no longer ride as a result of the fall.  She has since ceased working for Past Times and now works elsewhere.  She previously rode every day, and can now only drive for about half an hour.  Past Times eventually admitted responsibility for the accident, and agreed to settle out of court.

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