A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court has enabled a former Swansea Prison catering boss to claim damages as a result of being injured when an inmate dropped a heavy bag of rice on her, reports the BBC.
Susan Cox suffered spinal injuries after an incident in 2007. She was cleaning up a spillage at the time when a prisoner dropped a heavy sack of rice on her back. The Supreme Court ruled that the inmate’s role in the incident was akin to that of an employee, paving the way for Ms Cox to seek compensation from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
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Ms Cox's union, the Prison Officers Association (POA), has welcomed the landmark Supreme Court decision.
Steve Gillan, the POA general secretary, said of the ruling: “This is a significant day for prison workers across the UK. They are now legally protected when working alongside prisoners.”
A spokesman for the MoJ added: "We are currently considering this judgement. We welcome the court's decision not to recognise prisoners as employees when working in prisons.
"The safety of our staff is paramount, and we take our duty of care to them extremely seriously."