I recently sustained a lifting injury working in a factory loading dock, and I have been unable to work for three months because of my injured back. However my employer says I received training and am not eligible to claim compensation. Is this correct?
If your employer has failed to comply with safe workplace procedures, you may be entitled to claim compensation for a lifting injury working in a factory loading dock. Over a quarter of accidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are made in relation to manual handling injuries, and compensation is possible for many claims if an employer has taken shortcuts with regards to health and safety. The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) govern compensation that may be claimed for your injury as employers are obliged to adhere to this legislation.
Employers must comply with these measures in order to avoid any lifting injury working in a factory loading dock. Manual handling must be avoided where possible and when inevitable, measures must be taken in order to minimise the likelihood of an accident occurring. If this is not done and an accident occurs, it may be possible to claim compensation. An employer — before a task is carried out — must ensure that any potential risk to employees is minimised. In the case of a manual handling task, various considerations must be made such as lifting, putting down, carrying, pushing and pulling heavy objects.
It is the obligation of employers to ensure that these manual handling duties are performed to a safe standard, and that the necessary training has been given. However the provision of this training and any HSE literature does not necessarily exempt your employer from a claim to compensation in the event of an injury occurring. It is also necessary for them to carry out inspections in order to ensure risks are found, that attention is brought to dangerous tasks, specific training is given and the necessary equipment is provided. If the load was particularly heavy and your employer failed to take measures to make the load more manageable, your employer could be liable for your injury. This could have been done with lift trucks, or in the case of heavier loads with powered lift trucks or fork lifts. Additional workers could also have been assigned to heavier loads in order to reduce the risk of injury.
It seems as though your employer may challenge your claim to compensation. Because of this, it is recommended that you consult a personal injury solicitor. A solicitor can discuss the particular details of your accident and injury, establish which party is liable for your injury and determine the amount of compensation you can claim for a lifting injury working in a factory loading dock.