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Northamptonshire council's £500,000 injury claims

As many county councils face cuts or budget freezes it's important that all local authorities manage valuable funds carefully. Surprisingly information recently released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that large sums of money are being held back to pay for injury claims in the uk from employees. In just five years Northamptonshire Council had to pay out over £500,000 in claims for a wide variety of injuries.

Some may find this figure alarming and we can all think of ways that the funds could be better spent. There's no doubt that we are now bombarded on TV with No Win No Fee advertisements proactively encouraging people to seek compensation for accidents suffered at work. Not surprisingly local authorities are seeing huge spikes in people seeking compensation, have we now reached a saturation point, do we need to crack down on valid claims to reduce pressure on local councils?

Reducing the potential injury claims uk can be aided by robust health and safety procedures. Large local authorities need to ensure their new and existing staffs are regularly reminded of safety in the workplace. Employees should be able to carry out their day to day jobs in a safe environment and be fully aware of any potential hazards or dangers which could result in an accident. Some departments carry out random spot checks to ensure procedures are being followed, some ask the staff for suggestions to improve health and safety. Whilst it may seem an unnecessary expense to invest in new uniforms, equipment and signs - it can work in the long term if accidents are prevented or reduced as a result.

Claims varied enormously from someone falling after a chair was pulled away, being hit with a wood by a pupil, large splinters causing hand injury. The compensation for such claims varied from £200 to £100,000 due to the severity of the injury and the nature of the claim. Any injury claim in the UK is fully investigated before a settlement is agreed.

Some councils employ over 18,000 staff which makes the task of keeping up to date with potential injury claims quite daunting. Regular meetings and on site evaluations can help to prevent accidents but inevitably which such large volumes of people accidents can never be reduced to zero. Post injury claim it's also important that the rest of the team appreciate the steps being taken to prevent another incident happening in the future. Authorities which take these matters seriously are more likely to have the co-operation of their employees and in turn will improve staff morale which can be affected when accidents happen in the workplace.

Most departments carry out detailed investigations after an injury claim to assess whether the accident was preventable and what measures need to be implemented to prevent something similar happening again. It is not easy for claims to be passed and there are strict guidelines for claim assessments.

Reference article: BBC Compensation hits £500,000
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-19410613