Back injuries at work are very common, and in some circumstances employees can make a compensation claim against their employer. In this article we discuss what and how people can make a claim.
Back injuries at work can be mild or so severe that they are incapacitating and are one of the most common injuries that is suffered in the work place. Certain industries have a higher risk factor than do other industries. The are many muscles, tendons, ligaments bony structures, and nerves that are located in the back and an injury may involve any one of those anatomical components or even all of them.
The statistics that are available in the workplace is staggering. In 2010 alone, nearly a quarter of a million UK workers suffered a back injury at work. What is sad is that most of those injuries in 2010 probably could have been prevented. The number of days of work that is lost from back injuries is also impressive. Every sixth day of work is lost due to complications suffered from a back injury. That equate to about 43 days a year of lost work.
Some injuries are short term, but others can last a lifetime. Back injuries can affect the entire quality of living of you and your family. It is a miserable existence to live in pain and be incapacitated or limited in activity.
What are the Causes of Back Injuries at Work?
Many times, back injuries at work are the direct result of negligence on the part of the employer. It is important that employers evaluate job process and determine if the potential for work injury exists. It is also the employers responsibility to make certain that every employee is properly trained to prevent injuries.
Employers also have a responsibility to make sure that a job can be performed using proper body mechanic. This means that jobs that require odd postures or bad postures to perform job functions should be corrected to comply with work place safety laws. Sometimes special equipment or tools are needed for an employee to perform their job function safely. This, again, is the responsibility of the employer.
Some of the general causes at work involve lifting and carrying heavy objects. There are also injuries that are caused by office equipment that have a poor ergonomic design. Some injuries are even caused by broken equipment that has not been replaced by the employer. Repetitive lifting is a primary example of a work function that can lead to back injuries.
One of the common factors is a hectic schedule. Working too long without proper rest periods and breaks can take its toll on an employees back. Employers should be very cautious about employees who work extended hours. Fatigue is a major component.
Another work place issue that can lead to back injuries at work is very poor supervision and management of employees. It is the duty of an employer to make certain that employees are working safely and that they are following company policy and procedures when doing their jobs. Supervisory positions should take into account employee performance and bad habits should be corrected before an injury occurs.
Can I Make a Claim?
If you believe that your back injury was caused by employer neglect, than you can make a claim. It should be noted that by making a claim is not a guarantee of compensations. The process can be complex, and all cases should be talked over with a claim solicitor. A claim solicitor is a legal professional who is trained and experienced in dealing with back injury cases. It is recommended that the form be filled out completely and with as much detail a possible. This will help the solicitor better to evaluate your claim.
It is possible that employees who have a preexisting injury can still file a claim for compensation. These type of cases require a consolation with a claims solicitor.
How Much Can I Claim?
Minor back injuries have an average award of ₤4,500. More severe have an average compensation award of ₤88,000. Historical awards for back injuries have been in the millions of pounds range. Typical classification of back injuries are Severe, Moderately Severe, Moderate, Mild and Minor.
Some basic factors that can help to determine how a compensation can be determined are as follows. If the injury is permanent then the level of compensation goes up. If the injury is temporary, but the effects are severe then the level of compensation goes up. If the injury is minor, but painful the level of compensation may stay relatively low, or it may rise to a middle range. How the injury affects the life of the victim is also a consideration. Is there ongoing medical expenses? Will there likely be psychological harm from the injury? All of these factors are taken into consideration during a compensation review.
Industrial injuries are complex and the best advice is to discuss your claim with a qualified claim solicitor. They can help you to understand the process that is involved. They can also help to direct you to quality medical care if needed.