£1.5 million compensation paid to council workers

Money has been paid out for injuries cause by falls and hypodermic needles

A SCOTTISH council has spent almost £1m in the past five years compensating staff who were injured at work.

Fife Council has handed out just under £900,000 to workers, prompting calls for a crackdown on potentially “frivolous” claims.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a payout of £67,000 was made to one worker because of poor working conditions, while another employee claimed £40,000 after falling at work in 2006.

Two staff who were accidentally injured by syringes, putting them at risk of HIV and hepatitis, were paid £2,250 and £3,500.

Two-thirds of the claims come from workers who have been injured while lifting or moving equipment.

Out of 147 successful claims against the local authority, 97 were due to that kind of accident.

Other east coast councils have also been forced to compensate injured staff.


Dundee City council has paid out £234,324.40, including a city primary school worker who was given almost £7,000 after being “manhandled” in 2009.

Perth and Kinross council has paid out £123,911.54 since 2006.

One staff member suffered a “cranial trauma” after being attacked by a council client, while another was left with “facial scarring” after falling from a kerb.

Angus council paid out  £119,353.90, including two awards of £30,000.

While the councils will be insured against some claims, in increase in payouts will lead to rising premiums.

Robert Oxley, campaign manager at the Taxpayers’ Alliance said councils should try to avoid falling victim to a “compensation culture”.

He said: “Accidents at work are unfortunate but local authorities need to do everything they can to reduce the number and cost of incidents which taxpayers end up paying for.

“Where claims are clearly frivolous they need to fight taxpayers’ corner rather than giving in easily to spurious claims.”

The news comes as aFifecouncillor revealed that the local authority has spent around £10,000 to be affiliated with an anti-nuclear group.

Bob Eadie, a councillor inWest Fife, says the money spent on membership of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities could have been better spent reducing cutbacks to services.