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OFF BEAT: Often minor injuries add up to big workplace claims

Posted On: Aug. 28, 2012 12:00 AM CST

A British county council paid nearly $8,700 in compensation to an employee who alleged that a spinal injury resulted from wearing a too-tight uniform, according to a report.

The Northamptonshire County Council also paid £200 ($316) to a worker whose hand was pierced by a large splinter, according to information the London Daily Mail obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

In all, the county council paid out more than £350,000 ($553,350) in compensation to workers over the past five years.

That has taxpayers concerned that the bill for compensation has grown unacceptably large while some workers attempt to fleece the system.

Fend off questionable claims, one taxpayer advocate said. But with 15,000 employees, accidents occasionally happen, a county council spokesman countered.

Other compensation claims paid by the council include $17,600 to a staff member thrown into the air and injured when a shutter door opened and nearly $12,000 to a claimant who strained her back when a co-worker moved a chair just as she was sitting down.