CWU member receives £2,775 compensation following retirement due to back injury


Simpson Millar has won a damages claim for a former Royal Mail postal-worker who suffered a back injury while loading his van.

Back Injury

On 15 September 2009 our client, a member of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), was lifting post bags from a york. None of the sacks looked especially heavy and none was marked as such; however, as he hoisted 1 particularly overweight bag, he fell, sustaining soft tissue injuries to his lower back and leg.

As a result of the accident, the man was forced off work for 6 months before being retired due to ill-health.

On the former postal-worker's behalf, the CWU instructed Simpson Millar to proceed with a claim for damages, pointing out that the offending bag had not been identified as so heavy as to require extra care in handling.

In fact, 2 of the bags handled by our client were later discovered to be overweight, at 21.8 kg and 23.0 kg respectively.

We wrote to the Royal Mail alleging a number of breaches of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. These included exposing our client to a foreseeable risk of injury, and failing to avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations which involve injury risks.

Since documentation was only received shortly before expiry of the statutory limitation period, proceedings were issued to strengthen our client's position. We were then able to agree liability with the defendant and submit medical evidence in support of our client's claim, which was settled at £2,775.

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