Staff compensation costing Barking and Dagenham Council £20k a month
PUBLISHED: 13:48 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 February 2015
More than a million pounds has been shelled out in compensation to Barking and Dagenham staff members within less than five years.
Figures, revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Post, show that the council paid out £1,123,347 for 90 separate incidents between January 2009 and September 2013 – averaging just under £20,000 a month.
One council employee working in the borough’s finance department was awarded £86,425 in June 2009 for repetitive strain injury (RSI), while £33,645 was awarded when another staff member’s hand got trapped in a refuse lorry in April 2008.
The most common reason for claiming compensation for workers were trips (26 claims) and slips (22 claims).
The borough paid out a total of £41,660 for two reports of faulty folding dining tables in October and November 2011, while £24,275 was given to someone hit by a falling toilet door the following year.
Twenty claims were lodged last year alone for accidents including slips, trips and falling bins. All of these cases remain open.
Dave Clarke, Unison branch secretary for Barking and Dagenham, said that although the process of making a claim has become easier over the years, employer safety has also improved across the board.
“Making a claim is easier to do nowadays due to improvements in technology,” he said.
“Photographing the accident, vehicle, machinery or trip and even recording statements with smart phones is becoming the norm.
“However Barking and Dagenham’s human resources and occupational health departments have put a great deal of time and effort in to reducing accidents and assisting staff, providing counselling, physiotherapy and health MOTs for staff to get back to work.”
Last year, Barking and Dagenham became the only borough in London to become Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health service-accredited for the standard of its occupational health workers.
A council spokesman said: “Barking and Dagenham Council is focused on minimising any such incidents, through our robust framework for managing the health and safety of residents, customers and staff, a framework which reflects the Health and Safety Executive best practice.
“This includes training, risk assessments and steps to minimise risk.”
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