A production operative has won £41,200 in damages, after she developed bilateral supraspinatus tendonitis from repetitive movement in her shoulders.
The claimant worked as a production operative for a company based in Shipley, West Yorkshire, where she was required to construct oil coolers for agricultural machinery. In order to construct the oil coolers, the Claimant was required to use her arms and shoulder repetitively and above shoulder height.
As a result of this work, the Claimant developed bilateral supraspinatus tendonitis in her shoulders and had to endure six surgeries in order to finally alleviate her symptoms. Despite the surgery, she still has persisting symptoms and 40% of these have been attributed to her working conditions. Supraspinatus Tendinopathy is often the result of repetitive stress or overloading on the rotator cuff and surrounding tendons of the shoulder. It is known to occur in sports players, as well as to workers who have not been properly trained or given sufficient rest breaks. Patients often experience a tenderness and burning pain in the shoulder, and the pain may radiate to the upper arm or may be located in the top and front of the shoulder. Some common symptoms also include:
- Increased pain with reaching
- Difficulty sleeping at night due to pain, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.
- Difficulty with actions that involve raising the arms above the head, such as brushing hair or putting on clothes
- Having a limited range of motion in the shoulder
Whilst it was determined that the arms were not placed sufficiently above shoulder height to contribute to the shoulder injuries itself, it was found that it was repetitive enough to have increased the risk of a musculoskeletal injury developing if it was not monitored. The work therefore contributed to the advancement of any degenerative condition at 40%. In addition, it was identified that the risk assessments the Defendant carried out to assess the risk of this work in respect of potential Work Related Upper Limb Disorders were inadequate and should have been more detailed in accordance with the relevant Regulations and HSE Guidance.
Upon settlement of the claim, the Claimant stated that:
‘I have recently had an RSI Injury settled out of Court thanks to Miss Stacy Pimlott of AWH Solicitors. From the very start of my case, Stacy was extremely professional and would explain every procedure as and when they would arise. Stacy would be at the end of the phone or an email if I ever needed any guidance or support. I totally recommend AWH, and would also like to thank Stacy for her patience at a difficult time. On a serious note, Stacy did an amazing job and is an asset to AWH.’
AWH were pleased to be able to assist and support our client throughout her claim, and ultimately provide her with a positive outcome. Every workplace that could potentially be harming their workers through repetitive tasks should be carrying out sufficient risk assessments, so we would encourage you to get in touch with our specialists if you feel that you have developed an injury due to this negligence.
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Stacy PimlottSolicitor/Team Manager view profile
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