Production Operative Wins Compensation for Back Injury

Doctor pointing to area of back injury
By: Jessica Lee
Updated:

An AWH client has been awarded compensation after being diagnosed with a herniated disc from lifting heavy batches of soups and sauces without the provision of sufficient manual handling training.

About the Case

Our client was employed as a production operative from 2017 to 2021 for a company mass producing soups and sauces for the catering industry.

During our client’s employment, she was required to undertake repetitive and excessive manual handling of ingredients. Our client would work with a 550kg kettle, making industrial quantities of sauces. The total weight of ingredients per cook would be around 500 to 550kg, which she poured into several smaller batches. Many of the batches of ingredients weighed around 15 to 20kg and would be poured into the kettle at the shoulder or head height. In addition, during her employment, she had not received any sufficient manual handling training.

As a result of repeated exposure to repetitive and excessive manual handling, our client developed a back injury. Medical reports were obtained from a Consultant Spinal Surgeon who reported that she had suffered a left-sided disc herniation causing severe back pain.

Our client’s employer denied liability as they had a policy whereby no batches weighed more than 10kg which reduced the risk of injury to a minimum. Our client disputed this and was able to show that at least some of the items were much heavier than 10kg, in a breach of their own limits.

What was the Outcome After Court Proceedings? 

Court proceedings were issued, and the employer was given permission to rely on their own medical expert to challenge our client. However, in realising the significant risk of not being able to defend the claim, the employer made a reasonable offer to settle the case before they even instructed their medical expert.

In this case, our client won £8,000 in damages. Our Industrial Disease and Personal Injury Specialist, Stacy Pimlott was happy to assist our client throughout the case and get her the compensation she deserved in this case of Industrial Disease. 

If you have been affected by a case of industrial disease or injury at the workplace, AWH is able to provide you with the legal help and support you may need.

Read more on our Back Injury page.

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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