More than £1.5 million has been paid out by councils in north Essex after accidents at work.

Figures revealed £1,744,742 was paid by insurers in compensation and legal fees.
A Freedom of Information request asked Colchester, Tendring, Braintree, Maldon and Essex County councils how many claims they had received and how much had been paid out between 2006 and 2012.

The county authority had the highest bill, with the largest number of staff too, while only Maldon District Council had received no claims in the past six years.

Nalin Cooke, a regional organiser for Unison, the trade union which represents local government staff, said: “From our point of view and considering our members are taxpayers, the ideal situation would be to not have any compensation claims against councils.

“Some injuries in the work place may arise due to neglect – in situations like this Unison members will get legal support to achieve a fair remedy.”

Maldon District Council’s chief executive Fiona Marshall said: “The health, safety and welfare of our staff is extremely important to us.
“We undertake annual workplace health a safety assessments and offer training where necessary.

“I am sure our commitment to maintaining a safe working environment will have contributed to the fact we have had no claims in the last six years, which is obviously good news for everyone.”