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Post Office Worker And Amateur Artist Injured In Workplace Accident Speaks About Her Ordeal

Injury Expert Says Case Highlights Importance Of Safe Working Practices


By Suzanne Rutter

A Royal Mail postal worker who needed surgery on a fractured arm after a fall at work is calling for a greater focus on safety in the workplace after she was awarded a four-figure settlement.

Maureen Fenoughty, from Crookes in Sheffield, was working as a delivery post woman at the Royal Mail’s Sheffield East Delivery Office, Chapel Lane, when she slipped on a puddle of water inside the building while wearing snow chains on her feet. The snow chains, which she had informed her manager were a size too small, were provided to help protect her from the wintry weather conditions she faced on her delivery round.

The mother-of-two, suffered a broken arm and severely bruised elbow when she hit the concrete floor and was rushed to the accident and emergency ward at the Northern General Hospital for an operation to insert a metal pin in her arm.

Maureen, who was also training to be a health and safety union representative at the time of the accident, later endured three other hospital visits, including another operation to remove a chipped bone in her arm. 

The 56-year-old, who still suffers from pain in her arm, turned to specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who have secured her a £4,000 out-of-court settlement for her pain and suffering.

Rosalyn Holmes, a specialist in helping work accident victims at law firm Irwin Mitchell representing her, said: “Maureen suffered debilitating injuries which still have an effect on her day-to-day life more than three years after the fall.

“Her case highlights how important it is for employers to maintain health and safety standards so employees can carry out their jobs safely.

“Maureen had to take seven weeks off work and was restricted to light duties for a further five weeks after that. She still suffers a lot of pain in her arm but the settlement will finally allow her to move on with her life.

We hope her experience shows the long-term impact accidents at work can have on people’s lives and lessons are learnt for the future.”

Maureen, who has worked for the Royal Mail for 15 years, had to rely on her husband Joe to help her with her usual household chores for at least six weeks. The keen amateur painter and illustrator was also unable to carry on with her artistic hobbies for six months after the accident. Also, she is still unable to read without propping up her books on a pillow as lifting them causes pain in her wrist.

She said: “It’s still really hard to come to terms with how the accident has affected my life, particularly as it could so easily have been prevented if my employers had provided me with the proper sized snow chains. I also feel that training, instruction and information was sadly lacking.

“It was also common knowledge that after heavy rainfall or snow the flat roof of the office would leak onto the work stations, which should have been dealt with sooner to prevent accidents like this. The office was closed down soon after my accident.

“As I was walking out of the building, I slipped on a pool of water which had gathered round one of the workstations and fell heavily onto the concrete floor. I landed on my back and the pain in my wrist and arm was excruciating.

“I’ve been in absolute agony ever since and it’s been really frustrating not being able to do the everyday jobs I took for granted, such as the housework and shopping. I have to take painkillers almost every day to help me do my delivery round.

“Not being able to paint, draw and do the gardening as often as I used to has been so hard for me because these are things I love to do.

“I am relieved the case has now been settled so I can begin to move on with my life but I hope my story reminds employers about the importance of safety in the workplace so no one else has to suffer like I have.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in Accidents At Work Claims.