A Suffolk postman has been awarded £2,228 in compensation after he injured himself delivering letters in slippery boots.
After a five-year battle, Clive Davey, 47, who delivers to Cedars Park in Stowmarket, was one of 15 postmen compensated.
In 2007, Royal Mail issued ‘Magnum Boots’ to its employees despite the fact they had performed poorly in trials.
Clive had undergone keyhole surgery on his right shoulder for a previous condition prior to his fall.
But on his first day back at work, wearing the boots, he slipped on a metal drain cover, exacerbating his shoulder injury to the extent he is now classified as partially disabled.
Clive, who lives in Ipswich, said: “I had just had a shoulder operation so I refused to wear the boots but was given an ultimatum. But within 45 minutes I had fallen over on to the same shoulder. From day one this has never been about compensation, it was about the boots being unsafe. We walk eight to ten miles every day so we need decent footwear.”
Between 2007 and 2008 law firm Simpson Millar received almost 100 calls from postal workers who had suffered an accident after the new boots were introduced.
Helen Stanton from Simpson Millar said: “The boots that were supplied to thousands of postal workers in 2007 had poor grip on metal surfaces and practically none in wet weather. For a postal worker in Britain that is completely unacceptable.
“Despite the fact that Royal Mail’s own independent assessments showed that the footwear was dangerous, the company still denied liability and dragged these cases out for years. It is a positive outcome but the company could have saved itself a lot of time and money, not to mention the goodwill of its staff had it acknowledged its responsibility sooner.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The safety of our employees is a top priority for Royal Mail.
“Royal Mail only procures safety wear from trusted and reputable suppliers.
“A range of boots and shoes are available for our people and these are regularly updated based on the latest designs available.
“As a result, the boots that were available five years ago are no longer used by our postmen and women.”