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Home > News > Personal Injury News

24th January 2008

Compensation awarded to care worker injured whilst operating a hoist alone

Our client was aware that the normal use of a hoist, to help move a heavy patient, was a two-person operation. However, on the day of the injury at work, when the patient became distressed at being left suspended, she decided to try to continue by herself to speed his return to bed. At the start of the operation, the patient had had the sling from the hoist positioned underneath him by our client and a colleague, who had then stepped out of the room to talk to the patient’s wife, and did not return when requested to do so by our client.

To alleviate the distress of the patient, our client tried to manoeuvre the hoist alone, positioning it aside the bed to allow the patient to be lowered onto the bed. Following the movement of the hoist a couple of metres across the carpet, towards the bed, the legs of the hoist had to be positioned under the bed. As she used a pulling / pushing motion to do this, the legs became caught on wires hanging from under the bed. This caused the hoist to jolt and she felt pain in her shoulder, suffering an injury at work.

Although our client had received manual handling training for the operation of the hoist, there had been no specific risk assessment carried out which would have identified that there was the possibility of injury to the carer when using the hoist to move heavier patients. It would also have shown that the wheelchair should have been moved closer to the bed before starting to lift the patient.

The Judge found that it was reasonable that our client would have tried to reduce the distress of the patient as quickly as possible, and that there had been a breach of Manual Handling Regulations 1992 which was intended to deal with the care of the carers as well as that of patients. He also found that the wires under the bed had constituted a trap, as argued by our client. It was unreasonable that our client could reasonably have spotted this hazard before moving the hoist. This was a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Compensation Claim

Should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you. We have extensive experience in all types of accident at work claims, whether it was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause.

Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. If you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible.

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