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Home > News > Compensation for ambulance worker seriously injured at work

23rd March 2009

Compensation for ambulance worker seriously injured at work

Clear Answers were asked for personal injury compensation claim advice from a client who had suffered a serious injury at work.

The defendant refused to admit liability and our specialist accident at work lawyers were forced to issue court proceedings. However, before the trial date we were able to negotiate over £200,000 in injury at work compensation.

Injury at work caused by failure to maintain equipment

Despite repeatedly being advised that there were mechanical problems with the type of stretcher being used at the time of this work accident, management had failed to take action to correct the problem.

The stretchers are designed so that they can be moved into the centre of the ambulance and then pulled out of the back of the ambulance, the wheels dropping and locking as it does so. The wheels at the front of the stretcher drop and lock, taking the weight of stretcher and patient, before the stretcher is moved completely out of the ambulance to allow the rear wheels to do the same.

The defendant had not carried out any risk assessments to assess the potential risk of injury, nor had they implemented a system of inspection, which would have identified faults with the stretchers. Had the stretcher being used by our client on the day of his accident at work been inspected, it would have revealed that it was defective and the locking mechanism was worn, thus preventing his injury at work.

Circumstances of the injury at work

On the day of the accident at work, our client was helping to remove a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance. He was at the leading end of the stretcher and the wheels had been declared locked by his colleague.

However, as the stretcher continued out of the ambulance, the lock failed on the front wheels and the stretcher dropped quickly, forcing our client suddenly to take the weight of the stretcher and the patient.

Injuries suffered in this accident at work

As he took the weight, our client felt a severe pain in his lower back, the back of his legs, and strain to his shoulders.

Although our client initially attempted to return to work shortly following his accident at work, such was the extent of his pain due to his injuries at work, he had great difficulty carrying out his duties. He found great difficulty at home too in dealing with day-to-day tasks and relied heavily on his wife for personal tasks as well as driving him around when necessary.

Our client continues to suffer from a chronic pain disorder, which means he has effectively been incapable of working. Medical evidence suggests that if he were to return to work he would only be able to carry out the most sedentary work that required no heavy lifting, and that he would be unable to return to the work he had enjoyed for many years in the ambulance service.

It was also highly probably that he has missed the opportunity of being promoted to new challenges as he might have done had he remained in the post he held prior to the accident at work.

Breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

These failures and breaches of regulations were acts of negligence on the part of his employer, the defendant, and a breach in the duty of care to provide a safe working environment for him.

As well as a breach of the Equipment Regulations, the defendant had also breached the terms of the Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969 and by failing to provide adequate training on how to deal with circumstances such as had occurred in the accident, they were also in breach of the Manual Handling Regulations 1992.

Compensation claims for injury at work

Clear Answers’ lawyers are specialists in all types of injuries at work. We have teams of experts waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim.

Our advisers will be happy to talk you through the injury at work claims process, in plain English. They will provide you with expert legal advice to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal injury claim.

If you or a family member has suffered an accident at work, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

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