Carer wins £2,500 compensation for back injury after accident at work


A carer who was injured doing a job which should have been executed by 2 people has won £2,500 compensation from a healthcare and social services provider.

Our client, a carer employed by the social services group, was lifting a patient from her bed to allow the patient to use a commode. The patient, a woman of heavy build with very poor mobility, is normally attended morning and evening by 2 other carers, as set out in her care plan.

As our client helped the patient from her chair, the patient lost her balance and fell backwards, trapping our client’s arm as she fell and causing her to be pulled forward.

Despite the motion causing our client to suffer a back strain, she knew that she could not leave the patient in her chair. Although our client was able to move the patient to the commode, she had to undertake the same process as before to assist the patient back into bed.

However, the patient once again fell backwards while trying to stand, causing our client to suffer a further strain to her back and experience immediate pain. She called her family, who collected her and took her to hospital, where her back injury was formally diagnosed.

Just before visiting the patient as instructed, our client reminded her manager that, owing to the patient's build and physical condition, she should not be attending alone. However, she was told that she had no choice due to staffing issues.

When our client arrived she noted that the patient had been to hospital that morning and that her mobility was especially poor. Once again she rang her manager, but had no reply.

In her action for compensation from the care group, our client alleged that the patient had not been properly risk assessed and that 2 carers should have been present. She also noted that no lifting equipment was available.

The care group admitted negligence and of breaching its statutory duties to make suitable assessments of risk. It also admitted failing to provide adequate health and safety training, contravening the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Our client was awarded compensation of £2,500.

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