FRIDAY 31 DEC, 2004
£37M COMPENSATION WON OVER YEAR AS WORK INJURIES CONTINUE TO RISE
UNISON, the UK's largest union, won a record £37,388,262 over the
past year in compensation for members injured at work - £3m more
than the previous year. £2.6m of these payments were in Scotland.
Figures for each region are as follows: Region £ Eastern 2,070,259.40
East Midlands 3,240,880.55 Greater London 4,335,347.63 Northern
2,390,362.99 Northern Ireland 831,897.92 North West 4,453,071.78
Scotland 2,600,074.90 South East 4,669,094.97 South West 2,206,844.13
Wales 3,340,541.39 West Midlands 3,370,854.16 Yorkshire and Humberside
Injuries commonly include broken bones, cancer caused by exposure
to asbestos, asthma or allergies caused by prolonged exposure to
harsh chemicals, needlestick, RSI, back, head, neck and stress-related.
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said: "This £37m compensation
represents an awful lot of pain, injury and suffering for a lot
of UNISON members. Ask any one of them to choose between the compensation
or their health, each would choose not to have been injured in the
"The majority of these injuries are preventable. Employers know
this, but many refuse to act or find it cheaper to pay out compensation
to anyone injured rather than improve safety at work. Employers
must take seriously their responsibilities for the health, safety
and welfare of their staff. They should examine in their workplaces
why these injuries happen and take steps to prevent repeats"
Compensation awards include the following Scottish cases: £191,825
to the widow and family of a City of Edinburgh employee who died
from mesotheliomia (asbestos cancer), £40,500 to an ambulance technician
with the Scottish Ambulance Service for a back injury caused by
lifting a patient.
For Further Information Please Contact: Mary Maguire, (Press
Officer) 0207 338 6609(w) 07771 548 957(m) Matt Smith (Scottish
Secretary): 07771 548 997(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer):
07715 583 729(m) yours Chris 0141-342 2877(w) 0141 342 2835(f) 0771