Back Injury at Work Claims
25 January 2018
If you’ve suffered a back injury as a result of an accident at work, you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical treatment, rehabilitation support, lost earnings and out of pocket expenses.
It is part of the Co-op’s ethos and values to provide help and support in enforcing legal rights so as to prevent injustice. We will always strive to secure the best possible compensation and rehabilitation support for our clients.
Back Injuries at Work
Of all the injuries that can happen as a result of a work accident, back injuries are amongst the most common. Work-related back injuries tend to occur as a result of:
- Manual handling
- Falls from height
- Construction accidents
- Slips, trips and falls
- Falling objects
- Vehicle accidents.
Of these, lifting and manual handling accidents are most typically associated with back injuries. “Manual handling” means the lifting, lowering, pushing or pulling of objects.
If an employee is required to carry out manual handling as part of their job, an employer must carefully follow the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. Each employer is under a duty to avoid the need for their employees to undertake manual handling work where there is a risk of injury. If there are no suitable alternatives, then a risk assessment of the handling task should be performed and employers must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of injury from tasks which involve lifting. In addition, employers should provide mechanical assistance where appropriate and employees should be given the appropriate training.
It is important to bear in mind that manual handling does not just involve the handling of goods or objects but also any person or animal. Think about nurses and care workers who regularly have to lift patients from a bed or wheelchair. This, too, counts as manual handling. Which means that as employees, they should also be protected by the Manual Handling Regulations.
Work-related Back Injury
Manual handling is just one way an employee can sustain a back injury in the workplace. There are many other potential risks that an employee can face during the course of a working day. An employer has a legal duty to limit these risks, and protect the health and safety of their employees so far as is reasonably practicable.
So if you’ve suffered a back injury at work, it’s possible that your employer has failed to meet their duty of care towards you. Perhaps you weren’t given the proper training, clothing or footwear? Lifting aids may have been available which your employer could have purchased to avoid the need for any lifting to have been carried out. Or Health and Safety best practices may not have been followed. Or were you told to work through any back pain or niggles? If so, your employer could be held accountable for your back injury, for which you would be entitled to claim compensation.
Back injuries can lead to weeks, months or even years of discomfort. You might have sustained a lower back injury, soft tissue damage, fractured vertebrae, a spinal injury or neurological damage. Whatever the injury, it’s likely that you’ll need to take time off work, as well as receive some kind of medical treatment – be it surgery, physiotherapy or pain-relieving medication.
Your personal injury compensation settlement would reflect the pain and suffering you have experienced. Not only does this cover your physical injuries, it also covers your psychological and financial injuries. This can be very important, as back injuries can be so severe that your ability to work is adversely affected. If this is the case, the compensation settlement you receive would help to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, but for the accident.