A butcher who worked at a well-known supermarket has won £7,500 in damages after his job caused an aggravation of a previous shoulder injury.

The claimant was employed as a butcher and worked at a popular supermarket chain from 1986 to 2018. His role was to carry out the butchering of meat and joints over an 8-to-10-hour shift. He would carry out a number of cuts on each joint of meat using his dominant right hand and a knife. As a result of the gripping and flicking motion of the knife, the claimant sustained an aggravation of a previous shoulder injury.

In his time at work, the Claimant had been provided with manual handling training, but this was not related to the prevention of upper limb disorders, or how to avoid the same.

Read more on our manual handling injuries page.

In accordance with UK law, an employer must ensure that all employees are safely protected from any dangers that could occur during the workplace. All employers must be able to prove that they fulfil certain safety regulations in their workplace.

These regulations include:

  • Consulting employees on health and safety issues. This consultation must either be directly between employees and employers, or it can also be through a safety representative that is elected by the workforce or appointed by the trade union.
  • Carrying out regular risk assessments that address all potential for harm in the workplace, including types of manual handling injuries that could occur.
  • Giving all employees information about the risks that are in their workplace and how they are protected from them, in addition to instructing and training employees on how to avoid them.

ButcherCaseStudy


Shoulder complaints can be common in workers who have not been properly trained or given sufficient rest breaks. Those suffering from shoulder complaints often find that they suffer from tenderness and burning in the damaged area, and the pain may also spread to the upper arm of may be located in the top and front of the shoulder. Some common symptoms also include:

  • Having a limited range of movement in the shoulder
  • Difficulty with actions that involve raising the arms above the head
  • Increased pain with reaching
  • Difficulty sleeping at night due to the pain, especially when lying on the affected shoulder

In this particular case, our specialist solicitor Stacy Pimlott proved that the necessary manual handling training was provided to the Claimant, but it did not take into account the fact that he suffered from a pre-existing shoulder complaint. This therefore proved that his employer had not provided adequate protection and training that took into account the individual employee’s needs. To support the case, medical reports were obtained from an Orthopaedic Consultant due to the complexity and nature of the Claimant’s injury.

Witness statements were disclosed, and the matter was then settled.

At AWH, we think that it is important that employees are made aware of how their employers should be protecting them from dangers in the workplace. If you have suffered from a similar injury that was due to negligent workplace standards, then get in touch today. One of our solicitors can talk you through the options that are available to you.

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Hear more about the member(s) of our team featured above:

  • Stacy Pimlott - Associate Solicitor/Team Manager

    Stacy Pimlott

    Associate Solicitor/Team Manager view profile