Unite Legal Services has secured compensation for a finance officer after she fractured her right foot in a fall, which led to her developing deep vein thrombosis.
At the time of the accident, the member had just finished an accountancy exam at a college in Cornwall and was leaving the exam hall when she twisted her ankle between a stairwell and wheelchair ramp, which were not clearly separated.
The next morning she went to hospital because she was in so much pain. An x-ray revealed she had broken a bone in her right foot, which meant she was in plaster and off work for six weeks. During the time in plaster, her leg began to swell due to deep vein thrombosis and required a course of blood-thinning medication.
When she returned to the college the following year, the wheelchair ramp that caused her fall had been extended across the entire stairwell to prevent further accidents.
She contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation.
The member said: “The problem with the stairwell and wheelchair ramp was the lack of safety markings separating them. My foot was in agony and the next morning I could barely walk.
“For six weeks I was left virtually housebound and, even when I returned to work, I struggled to move around as well as I had done before my injury. If it wasn’t for the help of Unite Legal Services, I don’t think I would have been able to secure compensation and actually hold the college to account. Seeing as I never had an apology for what happened to me, I’m glad I had my trade union to turn to.”
Stuart Davies, regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “It’s a cruel irony that something installed as a safety precaution caused our member to painfully injure her foot. A shoddy job fitting the wheelchair ramp created a tripping hazard.
“The compensation secured for our member included her prescriptions and transport costs while she recovering from her injury as well as for her pain and suffering.”