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Durham County Council could be facing legal action from a grieving widower whose partner died after tripping over a metal drainage channel.
The accident occurred in July 2012, when Brian Childs' wife Lillian was walking down Alexander Crescent in the north-east city. She tripped on a metal drainage channel that lay across the pavement and hit her head as she fell to the floor, reports the Northern Echo.
Mrs Childs never fully recovered from the injuries she sustained in the fall and died just six weeks later.
According to her husband, of Wheatley Hill, east Durham, a metal cover should have been in place to prevent people from tripping on the drainage channel, but it was missing. As such, he has instructed a legal team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Durham County Council is also looking into the accident and has received a letter of claim regarding the fall, although a spokesman for the local authority stressed that it was unable to comment on the matter until the investigation has finished.
At the time of the fall, a nurse who happened to be passing in her car stopped and came to Mrs Childs' aid, but did not leave her details. Now, lawyers are appealing for her to come forward so that further information about the event can be obtained.
Slip and trip accidents are one of the biggest causes of personal injury in the UK, with figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing that they account for approximately two in five major injuries in the workplace.
Furthermore, slip, trip and fall accidents generate the highest number of compensation and injury claims in Britain, costing employers an estimated total of more than £500 every year.
The HSE has been striving to cut down on slip and trip accidents, with its 'Shattered Lives' educational campaign reaching more than 260,000 businesses across the country.
By Francesca Witney
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