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Watford General Hospital trust pays out £230,000 in staff injury claims
Staff working at hospitals in south west Hertfordshire have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for injuries caused by television screens, elevator doors and slips in the car park.
Figures obtained by the Watford Observer detailed just under £230,000 worth of settlements paid out by of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust for personal injury claims made by employeesworking across its three sites, in Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, since January 2008.
(One member of staff received £24,000 after their foot was run over by a hospital bed)
The largest claim was made in May 2010, when a member of staff slipped on a patch of ice in the car park and claimed £44,875 for serious injuries sustained.
Slips and trips are the most common reasons for workplace compensation claims.
In 2008, while setting up equipment for emergency surgery, a member of staff tripped over a cable injuring their knees and shoulder, and received £11,788.
The same year another member of staffed slipped on an unknown substance on the floor. Surgery which was performed left the employee with a bad infection and they claimed £9,143.
In October 2009 a member of staff fell on a wet floor, injuring her neck, back shoulder and leg. She received £9,000.
That same year a member of staff slipped and fell on pine needles as they walked through the car park and claimed £19,937.
(Pine needles led to a fall and a £19,937 payout.)
Another employee slipped on a sodden carpet, hitting their head on the floor in 2010, and received £3,003.
Then later that year, a member of staff slipped on an icy path, fracturing a wrist and aggravating existing back pain. They were signed off for four weeks and claimed £11,720.
In March 2012, two more people slipped in the car park, claiming £11,283 and £430.
Three members of staff claimed after things fell on them, including an administrator who received £695 after several folders fell from a shelf onto her head.
In 2010 an administrator claimed £20,407 after she was hit on the head by a television, which fell from a shelf.
(Falling TV lead to £20,000 payout.)
Later that year a monitor fell off its wall bracket and hit a member of staff on the face, neck, shoulder and right hand, and they claimed £650.
Other claims include a member of staff who leaned back slightly in a chair, which collapsed. They received £8,094.
Another received £24,000 after their foot was run over by a patient’s bed.
In March 2012, a female member of staff received £1,000 after she was knocked sideways by a lift door, causing neck pain.
Finally an employee sustained an injury caused as their workstation was deemed to be ergonomically unsafe and tasks performed were likely to result in injury, and they received £22,811.
Unsettled claims include an administrator who injured their foot while counting stock, an employee who was attacked with a walking stick by a confused patient and an administrator who tripped over a plastic box, which was not left in the designated area.
The trust has also paid out £33,178,929 following successful compensation claims from patients since January 2008, including settlement fees and on-going payments.
Mark Vaughan, Director of Workforce said: "As a trust, we employ more than 4,000 staff across our three hospital sites and take their health and safety very seriously. As such, we do all we can to help avoid them from suffering injuries as a result of accidents at work, including slips, trips and falls.
"Accidents will of course happen. However, each reported incident is investigated so that we can learn appropriate lessons to help prevent them from happening again.
"Our staff also receive training to help avoid accidents at work, for instance about how to lift and carry safely, and they are actively encouraged to report or rectify hazards which might cause injury to others.
"In addition, we ensure that staff who have been injured at work receive appropriate support, including from our occupational health team."
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