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Kim Smerdon recovered £78,000 compensation for a man who sustained a spinal injury at work as a result of his employers failure to provide a safe system of work and safe equipment.

The claimant was a driver/installer delivering vending machines for the defendant company. On the day of the accident the claimant was using a stair walker to transport the machine into the premises. The claimant had not used the stair walker before and nor had he received any training on its use. He placed the vending machine on to the stair walker and thought that he had it secured in place. However, as he tried to move the stair walker the load fell off towards him causing him to sustain a minor facial injury and injury to his lower back. 

The work which the claimant carried out was a manual handling operation to which the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 apply as do the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations. The defendants failure to comply with either Regulation was the cause of the accident.

Whilst primary liability was admitted the defendants alleged contributory negligence where stating that the claimant had received training on manual handling generally and on this particular machine. The claimant said that he had never received any training and indeed the defendants could not disclose any documentation confirming the same. We obtained evidence from the claimant’s work colleagues to confirm that no training had been given.

The claimant sustained a back injury causing an exacerbation of existing wear and tear in his lumbar spine of approximately 5 years. The claimant also sustained anxiety and depression as a result of his continued pain and suffering and inability to work.

The medical evidence was that the claimant had been unable to work to date but that with continuing treatment he should be able to return to work in a year or so.

The claim settled in the sum of £78,000 following the issue of proceedings and on an offer made by us to the defendants solicitors. This claim included a claim for the injury itself and the claimant’s loss of earnings from the date of the accident to the current time and a further year whilst undergoing the recommended treatment.