CASE EXPLAINED: warehouse accident claim
The client had an accident in a warehouse where he works as packer. He packed products into bags and placed them on a trolley for transportation. Once the trolley was loaded, the client attempted to push the trolley but struggled. There was a known problem with the trolleys because the wheels kept sticking. This may have been due to the age of the trolleys, or due to debris on the floor becoming caught in the wheels. Employees found it so difficult to use the trolleys, they often avoided the trolleys where possible.
On this occasion, when the client tried to pull the trolley, he injured his shoulder and back.
When an employer requires an employee to undertake a manual handling task, they are specifically legally obligated to ensure that the risk to the employee is as low as reasonably practicable (Manual Handling Operations Regulation 1992). Employers can provide machines to assist with lifting, for example a pump truck, so the employee would not need to use their own strength to move an item. The employer is also under a duty to ensure work equipment, for example trolleys, are in good working order and are suitable for the purpose (The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998)
The client was provided with a trolley to assist with the manual handling, but the trolley was not working properly. Although, the client managed to move the trolley, the problem with the wheels locking meant that there was resistance or unexpected movements.
There was potential negligence as follows:
- A messy floor that was full of dust and debris;
- The equipment was not maintained;
- The equipment was not working properly and was not checked;
- The risk assessment was not conducted properly – the system of work was observed using a trolley that was empty;
- The employer knew, or ought to have known, that there were problems with the trolleys but did nothing.
- The employer must follow recommended safety guidelines to minimise the risk of accidents and personal injuries.
INJURIES: Shoulder pain, back pain
Many soft-tissue injuries resolve with treatment, however soft-tissue injuries suffered whilst lifting, pulling or pushing heavy items over a prolonged period, can caused more severe permanent injuries.
The common soft tissue injuries, associated with manual handling, are sprains, strains, pulled muscles and torn ligaments.
The symptoms are:
- pain and discomfort;
- swelling and tenderness;
- reduced mobility and movement;
One of the main injuries resulting from manual handling is a back injury. Judicial College Guidelines confirm that minor back pain injuries, where the person recovers within 3 months, they may receive up to £2,150* in compensation for personal injury. If recovery is within 2 years, the claim may be worth up to £6,920*.
The medical expert assesses the extent of the accident injury symptoms. We will ensure we arrange for you to be seen by the relevant medical professional, in order to ensure you will get the compensation you deserve.
WHAT WE DID
We considered whether the injury was caused by a particular one-off incident, or if it was caused by problems over a long period. We looked at whether the employer could have taken a straightforward and relatively inexpensive step to avoid or reduce the risk of injury. The client provided us with a private video recording showing the locking wheels.
The client was given a sick note by his GP. We obtained information in order to calculate lost earnings, from the client’s employer. We claimed the amount the client lost in earnings, and negotiated an excellent amount of compensation for personal injury for the arm and back pain.
To make a claim for compensation arising from a warehouse injury, or to discuss any relevant queries, please contact us on 0161 639 0399.
What to do if I had accident at work?
You can also find more information about the personal injury claim process here.
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