Can I really make a claim for repetitive strain injury?


Carole Ann Wright, a CWU member, has received compensation for a repetitive strain injury she received working at BT.

Health and Safety in the office

Carole worked in the BT offices, helping engineers over the phone by running tests on her computer.

Carole is recognised as disabled by the law. She has severe problems with her eyesight. At work, she needed special computer programs so she could do her job. However, there was a problem with these programs, they didn’t work on the computer.

A lack of support at work

Problems with her computer programs meant that Carole had to restart, log in and out and re-run tests constantly.

This created a lot more work for Carole, which had to be done quickly so that the engineer could do their job.

Carole reported the problems she was having, but she was told time and time again that the programs were simply ‘incompatible’ and nothing could really be done. She went beyond what she needed to, even contacting the people who made the programs directly!

This lack of support at work, along with the extra work she was already doing, gave Carole a repetitive strain injury. This affected her right arm all the way from her fingers to her shoulder. Carole took time off work more than once, and eventually had her employment terminated by BT. A kick in the teeth after her efforts and BT’s lack thereof!

Can Simpson Millar LLP help you with your repetitive strain injury?

As a CWU member, Carole contacted CWU Legal Services and we took on her case. We realised that BT had failed to follow the law relating to her computer and its screen. Their lack of support meant her working conditions were not safe, and this caused an injury. BT failing to monitor her health made Carole's injury worse.

We worked with a medical expert who confirmed her repetitive strain injury with tests. We also worked with a highly experienced barrister to make sure we had the best case possible. We ensured that Carole had the best legal team in her corner when it came to court.

We managed to settle the case before the final trial date, getting £15,000 in compensation for Carole.

Top tips to take home

  • Report any problems with your workstation to your manager as soon as possible
  • Make sure that your employer recognises any disability you may have
  • Don’t suffer silently! Report your injuries and any illness you suffer as a result of your work and take legal advice

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