Poor health and safety in a Middlesbrough primary school has led to Middlesbrough Council being forced to pay damages to a kitchen assistant who badly injured her leg when she slipped in the dinner hall. Her case was fought by her trade union GMB and their personal injury specialists Thompsons.

Mrs Linda Williams worked as a kitchen assistant at Pallister Park Primary School in Middlesbrough, where she had worked for 18 years. On the day of the accident, she was walking through the dining hall to collect some pans when she slipped on the wet dining hall floor which had just been mopped following a child urinating on it. There was no warning cone or other method of warning Mrs Williams as to the presence of water on the floor.

Mrs Williams, aged 58, explains: “None of the dinner ladies had been trained in the cleaning up of spillages which is incredible given the majority of spillages happen in schools over the lunchtime period. They simply adopted their own system which unfortunately wasn’t enough to prevent my accident happening. As a result I suffered a knee injury and my employment with the council remains uncertain.”

Lack of Training Lead to Accident

Maureen Male, Convener for Middlesbrough Council on behalf of the GMB comments: “Middlesbrough Council fought this case to the very end so we’re very pleased to have secured justice for our member Mrs Williams.”

Representing Linda Williams, Diane Davison from Thompsons Solicitors in Middlesbrough comments: “This case highlights the lack of training by Middlesbrough Council of their lunch time staff which led to this regrettable accident. I echo the Trial Judge’s comments that this lack of training is “quite incredible” given that the vast majority of spillages occur in dining halls at lunch time. Hopefully Mrs Williams’ case will serve as a warning to other councils and employers to ensure that similar accidents do not occur in the future. The case has been adjourned pending assessment of damages”