Back injuries at work

Back injuries at work

Back problems are the number one cause of time off work in the UK, causing roughly 20% of work place absences, and over 10million working days lost each year.

Back injuries can also have serious consequences for a person’s domestic life, especially where the mobility is limited, and every day tasks are difficult or impossible to perform.

If your back injury was caused by working conditions, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. This counts for both claims for injuries with both temporary and permanent work related back conditions.

What causes back injuries at work?

Most back injuries at work are caused by heavy or repetitive lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling.

Other repetitive motions can damage the back over time, including twisting, bending and stretching.

Back injuries from lifting boxes at work and back pain from stacking shelves at work are very common place.

Posture and uncomfortable work position can also both adversely affect the back, as can repetitive tasks, prolonged stressed positions and working while physically tired.

Professions with the highest incident rate of back injuries amongst workers are generally those who are the most physically demanding, including construction, agriculture and nursing.

When is an employer responsible for a worker injury injuring their back?

The manual handling operations Regulations 1992 impose strict limits on the amount of weights that an individual worker should be asked to handle over the course of a shift. Wherever possible a mechanised solution to lifting by hand should be considered.  Where manual handling is unavoidable, tasks must be risk assessed and properly supervised.  Employers must also provide staff with training in safe lifting techniques.  Under more general workplace legislation, employers must provide staff with a safe system of work and safe working premises, with all reasonable measures taken to minimise the risk of back injuries among workers.

Compensation for an injured back from work

In the most serious categories, the level of back pain compensation will depend on a large part of the ongoing consequences of the injury and the degree of back pain suffered.

Cases where paralysis is not involved but factors such as impotence and incontinence are, will lead to awards between £64,250 and £108,000.

Where other special features such as sexual difficulties or the requirement of future surgery occur, awards will be in the region of £52,000.

Any other back injury resulting in long term disability or severe impairment will lead to awards between £24,750 and £44,500.

Most back injuries and associated back pain are classed as moderate.

Where there is some residual disability, including the possibility of future osteoarthritis, awards will vary between £17,750 and £24,750.

Damage to ligaments, muscles and soft tissues which may result in relapse will result in awards between £8,000 and £17,750.

Minor back injuries such as strains and sprains, where there has been no surgery and a full recovery is made will lead to awards in between £5,000 and £8,000 where recovery is within about 5 years, and up to £5,000 where recovery is within about 2 years.

Claiming compensation for a back injury from work is complex and there is a great detail at stake in terms of the level of compensation awarded.

Gathering evidence

It is essential if you have an accident at work that it is reported immediately and entered in the accident report book.

It is also important to obtain names, address and contact numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident occur and also to keep a daily diary of how you feel in respect of physical and mental wellbeing and what you could do prior to the accident and what you cannot do now.

This also includes recording down sleep patterns and disturbed and undisturbed sleep.

Graham Riley & Co Solicitors Ltd have been protecting and supporting clients for many years and enjoys a reputation nationwide for trusted legal advice.

We are specialists in work related back injury compensation claims having successfully represented employees who have been injured across a range of industries.

Call us today on 01704 532 229.

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