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Teacher slips on ketchup sachet and suffers serious personal injuries

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

A teacher has been awarded £230,000 after slipping on a tomato ketchup sachet in a school corridor.  The Essex high school teacher suffered serious personal injuries after the fall in March 2008.  He only claimed for the accident in March 2011 – eight days before the three-year time limit on making a personal injury claim. The teacher’s payout was part of the £1m paid-out in compensation to teachers injured between 2011 and 2013.

A Freedom of Information request found that Essex County Council agreed on a settlement of £230,000 in April last year, including £90,000 in damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as those related to a loss of earning etc. The payout also comprised £120,000 for the teacher’s legal fees and £20,000 in other costs.

‘Employers do have a duty of care’

With compensation claims on the rise, critics are starting to worry about the formation of a “compensation culture”.  Jonathan Isaby from the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Wasting taxpayers’ money on unnecessary payouts leaves less money available for teaching and higher tax bills for everyone else.” He argues that schools should start to resist lighthearted claims. Jerry Glazier from the National Union of Teachers, however, said that employers do have a duty of care to protect both the teachers and pupils at school.

Essex County Council said that health and safety is taken very seriously, with all compensation claims investigated thoroughly before payouts are awarded.

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