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Real cost of slips and trips is to the victims

LETTERS

Sir, I was interested to read your report about the slips and falls that one in three construction employees has suffered (News, October 27).

But I am concerned about your statement that 'businesses' are affected by the problem. It glosses over the problems that the slip or fall cause to the employee.

I was employed as a contract manager by a large organisation which turns over approximately £90 million a year. Part of my duties was the formulation of the pre-tender health and safety plans.

On the last day I worked I was carrying out an inspection with the planning supervisor for the refurbishment of a branch of a high street bank. I slipped on worn carpet (that has now been replaced) on stairs (that now have two handrails), suffered a fracture of the spine and slipped disc.

As a consequence I have been unable to work for 18 months and am 30 per cent disabled.

Apart from the obvious pain and discomfort, my marriage has ended and my house is due for possession proceedings as a result. This is all due to my accident and the financial problems it has caused.

My company paid me one month's salary, hiding behind 'director's discretion'. The insurance through the company will not take notice of the three doctor's notes, one of which signed me off for a year from day one, and the client couldn't care less.

What has this cost the company? Not a lot. While at work, my team and I kept the bank happy and also secured another £2 million project. I think I was a loyal employee.

In a week or so I should be fit to return to work. I have informed my employer of my situation but they have not contacted me. I think their silence speaks volumes.

Kevan DaBell Peterborough Cambridgeshire