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Home > News > Manual handling accident results in compensation for service engineer

20th October 2008

Manual handling accident results in compensation for service engineer

A service engineer, our client’s duties involved maintaining a fleet of trucks to keep them on the road, and required him to lift heavy objects by manual handling procedures. He had been employed in this capacity for several years and for most of the time worked alone.

On the day of the manual handling accident at work, he was carrying out a repair which he had done many times in the past. This involved removing and then replacing a motor cover that gave him access to the working parts which needed repair.

The cover weighed between 20 and 25 kilos and not only did it have to be lifted above his waist height, but also had to be manoeuvred into position so that it could be replaced. It was an awkward movement as he was working in a tight space and the cover had to be carefully lined up to make sure it would fit back correctly.

Manual Handling Injury

At the time of the injury at work, our client had completed the repair and was attempting to replace the motor cover. He lifted it from the ground, and was part way through the lift when he suddenly felt pain in his lower back. He waited for the pain to subside and then managed to complete the lift, replacing the motor cover.

Despite this work injury, and although still in some pain and discomfort, our client managed to complete his shift and also returned to work the next day. At the time of his injury at work, he had assumed it was a minor injury such as a pulled muscle.

However, when his back injury continued to cause him pain and discomfort after a couple of days, he attended his local accident department where a doctor advised that he had sustained muscle damage as a result of this accident at work. Unable to return to work because of the severe pain, he visited his GP who signed him off work, referring him to a specialist. Our client was eventually diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, which caused him to be off work for several months.

Although he has now returned to work, he continues to experience pain and discomfort when lifting and bending, and is unable to lift any heavy objects because of his back injury. As a result of suffering these back injuries at work, our client also experiences difficulties at home with gardening and other household tasks, which he previously took for granted before his manual handling accident. Periods of low back pain continue to affect him, and he also suffers pain in his leg and thigh, causing him to take painkillers on a regular basis.

Breach of Manual Handling Regulations 1992

Although lifting formed a major part of our client’s duties, at no time had he been provided with manual handling training, a clear breach of his employer’s duty of care under the Manual Handling Regulations.

In addition, the weight of the motor cover was in excess of that stipulated in the manual handling guidelines. By allowing our client to continue to lift these excessively heavy items, his employer, the defendants, had regularly exposed him to a foreseeable risk of injury. Since our client worked alone for most of the time, there was no assistance provided to help with lifting these heavy items, and no lifting equipment provided.

Our client was never shown a risk assessment relating to any of his duties, and was not aware that any specific risk assessment was carried out.

Although the defendants denied liability for any of these breaches, they confirmed that they had relied on generic risk assessments. Since his accident at work, his employer has provided manual handling training for our client.

Court Proceedings Issued For Manual Handling Accident Claim

The defendant continued to deny liability for our client’s manual handling injury, and refused to make an offer of compensation. Our expert personal injury lawyers, who specialise in all types of accidents at work, including manual handling injuries, were forced to issue court proceedings in order to conclude this claim.

However, after proceedings were issued for this injury at work compensation claim, the defendants agreed to negotiate a settlement and our client received over £80,000 in manual handling compensation.

Injury At Work Compensation

Clear Answers has extensive experience in all types of accident at work compensation claims, particularly those involving manual handling injuries and back injuries at work. Whether your injury at work was due to negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialist personal injury lawyers waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your personal injury compensation claim.

If you select Clear Answers to represent you in your accident claim, we will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, and our specialist lawyers will talk you through the claims process in plain English. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.

If you or a family member has been injured, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, if you prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms, one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible

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