A Night Parcel Sorter has won £16,250 in compensation, after her employer’s negligence caused her pre-existing back condition to worsen.

As a Night Parcel Sorter, our client’s role was to push parcels coming along a roller track to the appropriate conveyor belt which would then take those parcels to the appropriate section of the premises. The parcels came along the track at a fast pace and the work was highly repetitive. The parcels ranged in weight and size from approximately 1kg boxes containing footwear to 30-35kg flatpack furniture packs or heavy items such as tumble driers or even dumbbells. Our client was continuously required to bend and stretch across the track. Sometimes she carried out the job of re-sealing where parcels had damaged packaging. Our client therefore needed to lift the parcel off the track, re-seal it and then lift the parcel back onto the track. Again, many items were very heavy with many being marked with ‘two man lift’, however there was nobody who could help our client so she was left to lift those items by herself.

Another job that our client carried out was the home delivery work where our client was required to pick parcels from cages and carry them to different locations within the premises depending on the postcode. Many items were very heavy and she had no assistance with such parcels. Our client was given generic manual handling training, but it was not specific to the type of work that the Claimant had to perform. As a result of this heavy manual work, our client sustained an acceleration of a pre-existing bac condition. The symptoms of the back condition were brought forward as a result of the working practice by 18 months. Medical reports were obtained from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Spinal Neurosurgeon due to the complexity of our client’s injury.

What is an employer’s duty of care?

In any workplace, it is always the employer’s responsibility to protect that health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who may be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this. This means making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace. Employers have duties under health and safety laws to assess the risks that their employees may be under in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out regularly in the workplace to address any possible dangers that could be caused to employees. Employers must also consult their employees on health and safety issues and ensure that they are getting all the appropriate support that they may need. This consultation must either be direct, or it can be through a safety representative that is either elected by the workforce or appointed by a trade union.

Our specialist solicitor Ashley Leung helped our client throughout her case and ensured that the case was carefully constructed and supporting evidence provided to reach a positive outcome. AWH Solicitors were pleased to help our client get the compensation that she deserved and to move on with the next stage of her life.

If you have been affected by a similar injury, then get in touch today.

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