Mr S worked as a technical operator in a factory that made sweets. During one 12-hour shift, he was redeployed to a packing area and set to work on assembling and lining boxes.
The task was highly repetitive and demanding as the boxes were needed to keep an automated line stocked.
Mr S wasn’t given any instructions before carrying out this task and found that the quickest and easiest way to fold the flaps of the cardboard boxes was by using his thumbs.
During the 12-hour shift, he experienced increasing discomfort in his hands and after finishing for the day he developed severe pain in his thumbs. The next day, his thumbs were swollen and he found it hard to use them.
Although he struggled on with his shifts over the next few days, he was eventually forced to take time off work to allow his injury to settle.
Mr S had never taken a day off work before and lost his 100% attendance bonus.
He complained about this to his employer, arguing that the injury was not his fault but wasn’t successful.
It was at this point that he decided to claim compensation and with the help of his union, Unite, he contacted our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors for a free claims assessment. I felt he had a strong case and agreed to help him.
How We Helped
I approached Mr S’s employer with the details of our claim, stating that:
- No risk assessment was carried out before he started work on the boxes
- He wasn’t instructed on how to assemble the boxes correctly
- There was no job or task rotation in place, which meant he had to perform this repetitive task for a long time during his shift
Thankfully, Mr S’s repetitive strain injury cleared up after six weeks and as such he was fully aware that he wouldn’t receive a particularly large amount of compensation.
However, this wasn’t his main priority and in fact, he told us that he wouldn’t have claimed at all had his grievance over his 100% attendance bonus been upheld.
Mr S’s employer admitted responsibility for his repetitive strain injury. After getting medical evidence and assessing his financial losses, I started negotiating with them for a final settlement.
What was the Outcome?
Mr S was compensated for the personal injuries he sustained and for the loss of his 100% attendance bonus, which he would have got had it not been for his workplace injury.
The claim settled within 9 months of him getting in touch with us and Mr S is very happy with the outcome. I am delighted to have been able to help him with this matter.
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