When a woman who worked as a cleaner for a bus company in Maidstone, Kent, impaled her foot on a metal splinter at work, she could not have expected that the incident would leave her near to death and her leg needing to be amputated.

The injury happened in the engineering depot when she alighted from a bus that she had just finished cleaning. The bay had not been properly swept and, not noticing a pile of metal debris, she stepped onto the spike, which pierced her shoe.

As a result of her wound, the woman contracted the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis, which led to her being admitted to hospital as an emergency patient and the subsequent amputation of her left leg. She was said to be ‘hours from death’.

The woman brought a personal injury claim against her former employer and was awarded a substantial sum in damages. The court found that the company had failed to keep the workplace clean and had not carried out a suitable risk assessment of the danger posed to employees by accumulated debris from the engineering work.


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