Quality auditor receives compensation for bad back26 December 2008
Compensation for back injuries sustained at work
A GMB member who hurt his back in two separate workplace incidents has received £7,000 in compensation.
David Ogden, 54, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire felt forced to find less physical work with another employer after he was left with long term back problems.
He first hurt his back while lifting heavy trays of packed ready meals which he sent to the lab for testing when working as a quality auditor for Kettleby Foods in Melton Mowbray.
The nine kilo trays were stacked in an awkward position in metal cages and David felt his back go as he was pulling them towards him.
He had to take several weeks off work and on his return was then assigned to light duties and a shortened working day.
A few months later his back condition was aggravated again when he was lifting a 25 kilo bag of tortilla wraps.
Back problems kept flaring up
David decided to leave his job six months later because his back problems were flaring up regularly and he did not want to put himself at further risk of injury.
A consultant said David had pre existing degenerative changes in his back which were aggravated by the accidents for two years.
He contacted the GMB about his back problems which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Kettleby Foods settled the claim out of court for £7,000.
Will have a bad back for the rest of his life
David now works as an internal auditor for the Highways Agency but still suffers from a painful back.
He said: “The doctors have said that I will have a bad back the rest of my life. I have to be very careful to protect it. It can relapse just by doing the simplest things.
“I decided to pursue compensation because my back will never fully recover. I am always going to suffer pain and it will only get worse as I get older.”
Andy Worth from the GMB added: “Back injuries can be painful and debilitating. Employers must ensure staff are trained in lifting techniques or work out ways to avoid lifting situations like the ones faced by David.”
Jane Toplis from Thompsons Solicitors added: “There are strict laws to ensure that employers take action to prevent manual handling injuries. Employers should have a written policy as part of an overall health and safety strategy which addresses the risks their workers face.”
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