A cash-strapped council has paid a staggering £1 MILLION in health and safety compo to teachers and pupils who suffered minor injuries – including almost £115,000 to one who broke up a playground FIGHT.
Birmingham City Council has forked out the huge amount of taxpayers’s cash over the past five years in barmy compensation claims made by staff and children across the city.
Shocking figures reveal one dinner lady received £1,500 for injuries caused by a ‘defective’ saucepan lid while a cleaner was given £1,750 after being hurt by her MOP.
Elsewhere, a caretaker was awarded a whopping £40,000 after he got his thumb trapped in a school window and a student received £18,000 for being hit in the face with a ball.
Another worker who tripped in a store cupboard picked up damages of £34,539 from the authority while a child who fell over in a SANDPIT got £5,513.
One teacher, who has not been identified, received a total of £113,905 after he hurt himself while breaking up a brawl in the school playground.
Campaigners today said the bizarre claims – costing taxpayers the equivalent of 50 new teacher’s annual salaries – were an example of Britain’s “out of control” compensation culture.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “An extraordinary sum of taxpayers’ money has been paid out in playground compensation claims, some of which appear frivolous by any stretch of the imagination.
“Legal fees on top of this will only add to the bill landing on residents’ doorsteps.
“This is further evidence of a compensation culture out of control that councils and ministers must do a better job of counteracting.”
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that council employees received £546,763 in compensation, while claims by pupils and visitors amounted to £364,755.
In total, £1,290,645 was paid out by the council – which has been crippled by £800million worth of cuts – between 2009-2014.
They also included a pupil who suffered a chemical burn to their hand during a science lesson receiving £17,250 while another who fell and broke their arm was paid £15,940.
A third child received £19,288 due to “debility contracted during a camping trip” and another sporting injury, involving a pupil hit by a golf club, led to a £12,415 pay-out.
One deputy headteacher, who works at a state-funded school in the city, but did not wish to be named, added: “Schools feel like they are treading on eggshells with children and staff these days.
“I remember injuring myself plenty of times in the playground as a young lad – but I never received thousands in compensation for it.
“We are living in a blame culture and thousands of pound are being spent on settling these sort of claims rather than being invested in children’s education.”
Yesterday a spokesman for Birmingham City Council said the authority prides itself on the way school safety is managed.
He said: “The health, safety and welfare of our school pupils and staff is a paramount consideration and the council prides itself on the way that safety is actively managed within our schools.
“There is, of course, always room for improvements.
“When accidents do occur, appropriate reviews are undertaken, safety policy is revised as required and lessons learned to ensure we continue to maintain high standards of safety.”
Chris Keates, general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said: “Behind every compensation case is a person who has been damaged physically or mentally.
“It is a myth that compensation is easy to obtain. In reality the hurdles and barriers facing claimants are extremely high.
“While compensation is important, it can never make up for the fact that many of these teachers suffer permanent physical and mental injury and often cannot continue in their chosen career.”
Other pay-outs include:
• Pupil climbed on to a pencil-shaped wooden stumps and fell – £11,100
• Injury to hand and wrist while moving a computer – £12,835
• Fire door slammed shut jamming thumb – £13,945
• Stacked tables fell down and metal hinge caught foot – £11,716
• Fell off bike in playground causing laceration to right calf – £15,266
• Injury while doing gymnastics during PE lesson – £3,874
• Member of staff slipped on food on floor – £6,000
• Pupil hit by blind which fell from window as they were sitting in a lesson – £1,032.