Spinal injury from accident at work

How does a spinal injury happen at work?

Suffering a back injury at work is an unfortunately common outcome of an unsafe work environment. Employers owe their employees a duty of care – this means that they have a duty of take reasonable care of their employees, for example, providing employees with a safe work environment, providing adequate training, protecting them from dangerous machinery and providing appropriate protection equipment.

Where employers breach their common law duty of care or their statutory obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 or Employers’ Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969, employees are susceptible to suffering from a back injury at work.

We have advised claimants in a variety of back injury claims whilst at working, ranging from falls from height, crushing injuries, manual handling/lifting injuries, or slips and trips leading to a back injury.

On average, annually, 12% of all spinal cord injuries in the UK are a result of an accident at work.  If an accident was reasonably foreseeable and employees can show that their employer was negligent, then there may be claim for compensation for a back injury. 

 

What is a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that causes temporary or permanent changes in the function of the cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves which travel from the brain to the rest of the body, telling the rest of the body how to move, control vital functions like blood pressure, breath, control bladder and bowels and feel pressure. Therefore having a spinal cord injury is life changing.

Suffering a traumatic back injury at work could leave you with paraplegia which affects the sensation and movement in the legs and possibly stomach muscles this could leave you with paralysis or impaired function. However if damage is done to the spinal cord in the neck this leads to tetraplegia which affects the movement and sensation is both legs and arms and chest muscles.

The severity of the injury depends on whether the injury is complete or incomplete, terms used by medical professionals to differentiate between having some muscle function and sensation below the injury site and none.

Recovery and rehabilitation

Recovery and rehabilitation following a traumatic spinal injury can take a long time, with anything from three to nine months in hospital, dependent upon the injury and individual. Once out of hospital continued rehabilitation with the help of occupational therapists and adaptations to the living environment will help but the Spinal Injuries Association suggest that recovery can still take approximately two years to reach full potential with regards to regaining movement and sensation following the injury.

Some people are able to return to work after a spinal injury but many are not and having lost time at work there can be a significant financial impact to the sufferer and their family.

Making a spinal injury accident at work claim

We assist our clients in getting interim payments as early as possible to cover rehabilitation, house modifications and the purchase of specialist equipment which can allow them to get back to life and if possible work as soon as possible.

If you or a member of your family have sustained a traumatic back injury as a result of an accident at work then contact our team for a quick, no obligation discussion on whether you can make a claim. 

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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