Back injury at work – Advice Guide
Back pain is very common; the majority of us at one time or another has suffered from this to some degree. Luckily, in most cases back pain which occurs for no apparent reason is rarely serious and will usually get better over time with a little TLC.
However if you injure your back in a sudden accident at work the injury is often more serious and may result in repeated hospital stays and extensive time off work.
Common workplace accidents resulting in back injury
Whatever your job, your employer must follow established health and safety procedures to look after your wellbeing at work. They are duty bound to eliminate or at least minimise your risk of injury, including back injury.
Despite this, workplace accidents remain a common cause of back injury, often as a result of employers prioritising speed over safety, or adhering to outdated and unsafe ways of working.
Some common work place accidents resulting in back injury include:
Manual Handling is defined as ‘the transport or support of a load by hand or bodily force. This includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying, manoeuvring or transporting’.
Manual handling is a key health and safety concern as most jobs will include some form of manual handling. Employers must:
1. Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable
2. Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided
3. Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable
Training on good handling techniques and where necessary appropriate mechanical aids should be provided by your employer.
If your employer falls short of their duty and you suffer a back injury as a result you are entitled to claim compensation from your employer’s liability insurer.
Fall from height
Working at height poses a significant threat of serious injury or even death, even a fall from as little as 2 metres can cause debilitating injuries.
Employers must therefore take extra care to reduce the risk of a fall, preventing the need to work at height wherever possible. When it is not possible for the work to be done at ground level, employers must assess and put in place protective measure to reduce the risk of a fall.
If your employer has not met their obligations and you are injured or a loved one is killed by their actions or inaction you are entitled to claim compensation.
Slip or trip
Employers must take steps to eliminate or minimise slip and trip risks by ensuring workspaces, and walkways in particular, are:
1. Fit for the type of work being carried out
2. Sufficiently wide and level
3. Well maintained
4. Free of obstructions or spillages
5. Well lit
It may also be necessary for employers to provide slip resistant footwear where floors cannot be kept clean and dry.
If your employer fails to manage the risk of slips and trips within your workplace and you suffer an injury you are entitled to claim compensation.
Being struck by a falling or moving object
Back Injuries caused by being struck by a falling object can be the result of:
– Items being incorrectly stacked or stored above ground level which when disturbed, fall easily
– Self standing objects or those leaning against walls are not properly secured
Back Injuries caused by being struck by a moving object may be the result of poor working practices when using forklift trucks, mobile racks or trolleys etc.
To prevent accidents these should only be used on designated routes away from others where possible and the person using the equipment should have good visibility.
If adequate training and equipment is not provided by your employer and you are injured by a falling or moving object you are entitled to claim compensation.
Your back injury may be caused by other issues within the workplace, for example you may have been provided with no, or no adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or tools required to do your job safely.
Your back injury may have been brought on, or made gradually worse, by continued and prolonged exposure to poor working practices.
Am I entitled to compensation from my employer?
Whatever the circumstances of your accident, our injury at work solicitors can provide clear guidance on your right to claim compensation.
You may be hesitant to pursue a claim, fearing it may result in you losing your job or other repercussions from your employer or colleagues.
Our injury at work solicitors can provide confidential advice about your entitlement to compensation even where the issue of who is at fault is complex or if you are not an employee in the traditional sense.
What types of back injury can I claim for?
Our team of back injury specialists have a wealth of experience dealing with all types back injuries, including:
– Spinal cord or nerve root damage
– Compression or crush fractures of the lumbar vertebrae
– Prolapsed discs
– Tendon or ligament damage
– Soft tissue damage including sprains and strains
We understand the potential long term and far reaching ramifications of a back injury caused by an accident at work and can assist in cases involving:
– chronic pain
– impaired mobility
– loss of sensation
– impaired bladder and bowel function
– sexual difficulties
– unsightly scarring
– anxiety and depression
– loss of independence
We have relationships with senior medical experts who can comment fully on any future complications caused by your back injury at work, including any potential increased risk of osteoarthritis or the likelihood you will require surgery at a future date.
How much can I claim?
Depending on the extent of your injury you may recover compensation ranging from several thousand pounds to in excess of £140,000.00. Our team of back injury specialists can give you tailored advice about the value of your claim once you have been examined by a medical professional.
In addition to compensation for your injuries you may also be entitled to claim the following:
– Loss of earnings
– The costs of medical care
– Assistance provided by professionals and loved ones
– Adaptations needed to your home
Check out our back injury at work compensation guide for more information and advice on back injuries in the workplace.
Get In Touch
Our injury at work solicitors have the necessary skill, expertise and know how to ensure your compensation is maximised.
We can also help out whilst your compensation claim is ongoing with a cash advance of up to £1000.00, subject to terms and conditions. Call us on 0161 399 1231 for further details.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.