Accident at Work for CWU Member Whose Bag was Too Heavy Wins £3,825

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Our brave postal worker had worked at the Post Office for some 31 years, the last 6 and a half of which were for Royal Mail. On the day of the accident he was doing his routine collection duty in the afternoon. He does this round every week.

Royal Mail

On his routine collection, he was expecting about 2 to 3 bags. This would normally be the amount he had to deal with. However on this occasion, there were approximately 25 to 30 grey sacks containing what he believed to be advertising literature.

Heavy Bags Lead to a Hernia


The Royal Mail van he was given to drive was quite small and so he often had difficulty putting all the bags inside. Nearing the end of his collection, he began to move all the bags and suddenly felt a strange pain in his groin area. He struggled to complete his collection and drove back to the delivery office.

Some of the bags when weighed were found to be 14kgs, which is 2kgs over the recommended highest weight. Others weighed in at a whopping 16kgs on average and some were 5kgs over the recommended weight.

As a result of the accident a small lump appeared in his groin. He went to his GP and was referred to hospital for a hernia operation. Our postie suffered from the most common type of hernia caused by heavy lifting or heavy activity. It affects 1 in 4 men and around 71,000 surgical operations were carried out to repair this kind of hernia in 2010-2011.

Our injured postal worker had to take 3.5 weeks off work following the operation.

Returning to Work After the Operation


Prior to returning to work, our injured postie was not provided with the option of doing light work. He was also not referred for rehabilitation for his injuries, instead he was simply put back onto normal duties.

Following his accident at work, the postie suffered a lot of discomfort. Everyday tasks such as gardening and washing the car became long difficult tasks. Even our postie’s personal life was affected. He was unable to help his daughter move away to university, a landmark event in any parents’ life.

Our dedicated postie was financially supported by his trade union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and approached Simpson Millar LLP to begin his claim. Although initially responsibility for the accident was denied, we were able to secure an admission from both Royal Mail and the company who packed the bag. As a result our postie was awarded £3,825 in compensation.


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