Client Wins £10,000 for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claim
Our client was employed from 2006 to now through agency work where a combination of hard manual labor, small breaks, overtime hours, and a lack of training resulted in her developing carpal tunnel syndrome. However, with the help of AWH’s industrial disease solicitor, Fatima Bibi, our client won £10,000 for her carpal tunnel syndrome claim.
What Was the Case?
Our client worked as the following job roles for her employer:
- Line operative December 2006 – 2008
- Chickweigh operative – 2008-2019
- Process control 2019- present
Employer Negligence Resulting in a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claim
While working as a Chickweigh Operative, our client was responsible for the sauces and butter lines.
She worked 8 to 10 hours a day without rotation. This meant she would carry out the same job constantly every day.
During the shift, she had 2 breaks a day. She was permitted, one 20-minute and one 30-minute break.
From the beginning of her employment, there would be a lot of overtime hours available. This meant she would work Monday – Saturday, with Saturday being overtime plus extra hours at the end of the day in the week. As a result, she would often work 50+ hour weeks on average. In some cases, her weekly hours reached 60.
Heavy Lifting Without Training
For around about 2 years, she worked without a stacker. A stacker would normally take the boxes with the product from the line and put them on the pallet. These boxes would weigh from 10.5kg to 12.20kg. It was her responsibility to do these tasks due to the shortage of staff.
The stacker would also wrap the pallets with film and operate the pallet truck to transport the loaded pallet outside into the corridor for someone else to them collect. Occasionally to ease the load of her co-workers, she would push the pallet truck to help with the heavyweight.
The pallet, when fully stacked with 48 boxes and wrapped, would weigh about 600kg (depending on the weight of the boxes themselves – 10.5kg/12.20kg)
“A Pressure to Reach Daily Targets”
Our client states that the work was fast-paced and hard, and there was a lot of pressure to reach daily targets, around about 10,000kg, 16-17 pallets a shift.
Her responsibilities were, pulling the box full of product onto the scale from her left-hand side, taking the product off, or adding in if it didn’t reach the target of 10.5-12.20kg (currently its 10-15kg). After weighing each box, she had to print 2 labels, one going in the box and the other being stuck outside, then she had to close the box (all 4 sides, 2 sides at a time) and then use her right-hand pushing/sliding the box onto the Sellotape machine which was 1 meter away from the scales.
She would pack a variety of different products however the weight of these boxes had to be within the 10.5-12.20kg range no matter the product.
She would form different sizes of butter pellets, which were loaded into the boxes, from 14g to 30g, and stuffing from 142g to 175g which had an impact on the speed of the packing.
From her calculations, in those 7 hours and 10 minutes (without the 2 breaks), she would pack 1500kg per hour, 25kg per minute which means 2 boxes per minute. These are statistics for an 8-hour shift (including breaks) whereas she would also work overtime after her shift ended resulting in working 1 possibly 2 extra hours.
From about 2019, she started working process control full time due to the pain in both of her wrists.
Hours of Work
2006-2012 worked a rotation of 2 shifts. 6am-2pm and 2pm-10pm plus overtime, overtime ranging from 1 to 2 hours daily. she did overtime very frequently as it was available almost every day.
- 2012-now – 5:30am- 2pm
- 2012-2018 overtime was almost available every day.
- 2019- average over time is about 10 hours a week
Break Periods Resulting in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
2 breaks were provided per shift (shift is 6am-2pm for example). These breaks were 20 minutes and 30 minutes only. During overtime, no extra breaks were given.
The work was consistent and there were no rest breaks or changes in job roles so the work was non-stop until the actual break time.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
From around 2019, both of her wrists started to go numb and tingly when she was carrying out her job. This was when she was closing the boxes and pushing them to the Sellotape machine as well as lifting the boxes. The numbness happened in both hands stretching from the start of the wrist up to my fingers. The pain that also came with the numbness was a sharp pain in the wrist that was very consistent and did not go away.
The work was based on constantly using her wrists and flicking them whether it was closing the boxes or getting the labels from the machine to then stick them on the box. Additionally, it occurred when she was pushing the boxes from left to right. The pain was present for most of the time working as she had to use her wrists throughout the day. However, the symptoms continued after work as well.
An Employer’s Obligation to Provide Training
Our client stated that any training that was provided did not deal with the issues that caused her carpal tunnel syndrome. As a result, her employer did not put into place measures to prevent carpal tunnel from arising.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
Our client had nerve conduct tests done which revealed that she had carpal tunnel syndrome.
Getting Started with Carpal Tunnel Claims
Do you want to know what carpal tunnel compensation payout you are entitled to? Use our carpal tunnel syndrome compensation calculator or get in touch today.
With over 20 years of experience dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome claims, our carpal tunnel claim team will be able to help you claim the maximum compensation.
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Hear more about the member(s) of our team featured above:
- Fatima Bibi Solicitor view profile