Faulty Work Equipment caused injury

Faulty work equipment forced a care assistant to take sick leave for three months after she suffered from whiplash injuries.
The GMB member had to undergo intensive physiotherapy following the accident at a day centre in Leeds.

Run by Leeds City Council, the day centre is used by Alzheimers and Dementia sufferers.

On the day of the accident she was bathing a patient using a bath seat, which is similar to a toilet seat with a handle to move it up and down.

Jolt resulted in Whiplash Injuries

As she was moving the seat up to help the service user get out of the bath, the seat caught on a broken bath panel causing a sudden jolt resulting in whiplash injuries.

At first she thought she might have pulled a muscle and continued work, but the next day she was in severe pain. She had to take the next 12 weeks off work.

Following the accident she contacted her union, the GMB, which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Leeds City Council admitted liability and settled the claim out of court for £4,000.

The council has also changed the type of baths used at the day centre.

She said: “I’m glad I decided to claim compensation because it forced the council to replace the old baths with newer versions. The equipment we were using was extremely old and it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

“I was annoyed that I had to take so much time off work. My neck was in agony, but after months of physio I was able to return to work.”

Employers should provide safe work equipment

Tim Roache from the GMB said: “We are pleased our free legal service for members has helped this member in her compensation claim. It should never have taken legal action for the council to make sure its working equipment was safe for its employees.”

Kevin Hughes from Thompsons Solicitors, added: “Though the mechanism of injury sounds innocuous enough what our client suffered was the sort of injury you would expect from a car accident. If the day care centre had kept its equipment in good repair and in safe working order this accident would not have happened.”