Manual Handling Compensation for Carer Who Suffered Back Injury At Work
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Home > News > Manual Handling Compensation For Serious Back Injury

1st September 2008

Manual Handling Compensation For Serious Back Injury

Following her accident at work, which resulted in a back injury, our client asked for our compensation claim advice regarding bringing an accident claim for manual handling compensation.

Lack of Manual Handling Training

An experienced carer, our client had been employed at this particular residential home for a number of years, working on the night duty at the time of her accident at work. The home cared for approx 40 residents, and there were normally only two staff on duty at night.

Prior to working at this home, our client had received training in dealing with patients on a one to one basis. However, she had not received any manual handling training specifically geared towards working in a team of two or more. Neither had she received updated training on basic moving and handling of patients. This was despite her own and colleagues concerns to management, that the beds were too low and it made it difficult for them to manoeuvre the patients safely.

Back Injury Caused By Low Beds

Normal procedure at the home was that if a resident needed to have their bed changed during the night, the carer would call for the second carer, and they would carry out this necessary task together. On this occasion, our client rang the bell for assistance, as was the standard procedure at the home, but the second carer did not respond.

After some time, our client decided that the resident could not be left any longer in wet bedding. Because of the physical condition of the resident, it was not possible to ask her to get out of bed, so our client had to adopt a rolling technique to remove and then replace the sheets.

Whilst she was attempting to lean over the bed to secure the sheets at the far side, she felt a sharp pain and a click in her back, causing considerable pain both then and on going. After recording her back injury at work in the accident book, and completing her shift, she visited her GP. She was diagnosed as having a disc injury.

Contract Terminated Because of Manual Handling Injuries

Our client was recommended for a course of physiotherapy, which unfortunately proved to be ineffective, and she was unable to return to work as she continued to suffer extreme pain from her back injuries. Three months after her accident at work, our client was advised by telephone that her contract was being terminated.

Lack of Risk Assessments

During the investigation of this claim, it became apparent that no risk assessment had been carried out on this particular resident for 15 months prior to the accident at work. Immediately following the manual handling accident, a risk assessment was carried out on this patient, which identified that she should have been provided with an adjustable bed. This would have avoided the need for carers to bend low to attend to her, given her lack of mobility. It would also have allowed the bed to be adjusted to suit the height of any carer assigned to her.

Within days of the accident at work, all patients at the home were provided with adjustable beds.

Court Proceedings Issued To Obtain Manual Handling Compensation

Our expert accident at work lawyers had brought the claim for manual handling compensation on the grounds that there had been a breach of both the Manual Handling Regulations, and the Work Equipment Regulations. These state that an employer has a duty of care to ensure that their employees receive the manual handling training required to avoid injury, and that they were provided with appropriate equipment to avoid injury.

The defendant argued that neither of these Regulations applied and had refused to negotiate a settlement. Our specialist personal injury lawyers, who have vast experience in all types of accidents at work, especially manual handling injuries, were forced to issue court proceedings.

At trial, the evidence provided from both the Defendant’s witnesses and our own, confirmed that the cause of our clients back injury was solely due to the bed being too low, compounded by a shortage of staff.

Some time into the trial, the defendant asked for an adjournment, at which time an offer of a substantial sum in final settlement of the claim was made. This was the same sum that we had offered a few weeks earlier, but which had been rejected by the defendant. On Counsel’s advice, our client decided to accept the offer.

Compensation Claims For Manual Handling

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

If you select Clear Answers to represent you in your 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 in these circumstances, 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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