Production Manager Wins Compensation for Avocado Hand Damage

Avocado Picker
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Case by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott

AWH has helped a client with their claim, after they sustained damage to their hands whilst handling avocados in their workplace.

What was the case?

Our client was employed as a Production Manager and thereafter as a Ripening Assistant. The client was required to manually check 10,000-12,000 avocados and ascertain whether they were ripe. The client would have to do this by squeezing one in each hand approximately every 2 seconds. They would then have to use a knife to slice into the fruit to further check the ripeness. She estimated that she would have to do this to around 3000 of the fruits. As a result of this repetitive work, our client then developed pain in both of her hands and wrists, and she required surgery on both hands to alleviate her symptoms. Ultimately, she still suffers from some residual symptoms, but the Defendant did settle the matter two months before the listed trial.

What is a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?

Repetitive Strain Injury (also known as an RSI) is a general term that is used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. It’s also known as work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain. The condition predominantly affects part of the upper body, such as the:

  • Forearms and elbows
  • Wrists and hands
  • Neck and shoulders

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of repetitive strain injury generally range from mild to severe and they also usually develop gradually. They often include:

  • Cramp
  • Weakness
  • Throbbing
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Pain, aching or tenderness

The pain might first only begin when you are carrying out the task that has caused the strain, but eventually you will likely experience constant and lasting periods of pain. If this is the case, it is a good idea to modify the manner in which you are carrying out tasks that are causing the repetitive strain.

Read more on our repetitive strain injury claims page

What is an employer’s duty of care?

An employer’s duty of care in the workplace includes a number of important factors that must be considered to make sure that their employees are safe. The responsibilities that employers must consider include:

  • Providing health and safety training
  • Providing adequate protective equipment whilst completing tasks
  • Managing and addressing any employee concerns promptly and effectively
  • Managing and addressing any employee misconduct
  • Protecting your employee’s mental health within reason
  • Protecting your staff from discrimination

All of these factors should be upheld in a workplace, and legal claims can be made if they have not been. If negligence in your place of work has occurred, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Here at AWH, we can help you throughout the process of making a claim against your employer. Repetitive Strain Injuries can have a serious impact on your quality of life and getting the compensation that you need can help you immensely.

Get in touch with our industrial disease solicitors today for expert help and advice.

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