Security Guard Wins £180,000 for Psychological TraumaA security guard who suffered severe psychological trauma after being assaulted at work has been awarded compensation as a result.

James Maher, 56, was working as a security guard for the London Borough of Waltham Forest, at a depot in East London, when he was attacked. The incident occurred after a misunderstanding involving the partner of a council worker. Mr Maher was hit over the head repeatedly. He suffered severe bruising to his head and later had to have an operation on his knee.

Although he was not seriously injured in the attack, Mr Maher experienced psychological trauma. He now suffers from a lack of confidence, with the result that he is unable to work and rarely leaves the house. It is thought likely that he will suffer from the psychological effects of the attack for the rest of his life.

Mr Maher brought a personal injury claim on the basis that his employer had failed to provide safe working conditions. He had warned the council on several occasions that the entrance to the security office posed a safety risk as it was easy for members of the public to gain access. In addition, Mr Maher should have been given training in how to manage dangerous situations, working on his own and customer care.

Two days before the case was due to come to court, the council admitted liability and agreed to pay compensation of £180,000.

If you have suffered injury in a workplace accident through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. Employers have a duty to carry out risk assessments to ensure that working conditions are safe and to provide appropriate training to enable employees to carry out their work safely. Damages can be awarded not only for physical injuries but also for psychological distress and for wages lost if you have been unable to work. Contact riffat.yaqub@edwardsduthieshamash.co.uk for claims advice.