Work-vehicle collision at Asda supermarket results in employee compensation29 July 2013
Back injury after vehicle collision at work
A GMB union member who injured his back after a vehicle collision at work has been awarded compensation from his employers, Asda.
The 52-year-old from Burbage, Leicestershire, was getting out of the picker truck he had been driving when a colleague behind the wheel of a reach truck turned a corner without looking and collided into the side of his vehicle.
The impact from the collision caused the picker truck to be shunted forward and to hit the man in the lower back. He was left with a swollen spine and needed three months of physiotherapy to help repair the injury.
After two and a half weeks recovery time, the union member returned to work on light duties to avoid aggravating his injured back. As a consequence of the accident his role has changed and is now administrative as he is unable to carry out the manual handling of heavy goods.
Contacted union for advice and the GMB instructed Thompsons
He contacted his union for advice and the GMB instructed Thompsons Solicitors to act on his behalf.
The member said: "I've been lucky in that my employers have been flexible about my return to work but the ongoing stiffness in my back is very limiting. I have to make sure I do not sit or stand for extended periods of time as this causes me a lot of discomfort.
"My consultant explained that I could never do any heavy lifting or strenuous work again, which at my age is very disappointing. I was particularly upset when I had to sell my motorbike, but the damage to my back means I can't ride it anymore anyway."
Andy Worth from GMB said: "Employees have the right to go into work safe in the knowledge that systems in place mean they can leave unharmed at the end of the day.
"Where vehicles are in operation there are very clear rules and employers are expected to make sure employees abide by them."
Stark warning to employers about the consequences of poorly monitored traffic systems in a workplace
Steve Fitzwalter from Thompsons Solicitors, said: "This case is a stark warning to employers about the consequences of poorly monitored traffic systems in a workplace. My client's injury had a negative impact on his life, both personally and professionally.
"Proper training is key, as is rule enforcement. With the right level of care and attention this accident was easily avoidable."
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