I developed chronic knee bursitis from laying carpet and want to claim knee bursitis compensation against my employer. However, he told me that I should have bought a pair of knee pads if I wanted to protect my knees. Will I be able to claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

A claim for knee bursitis compensation can be made against an employer provided that knee bursitis developed as a direct result of employer negligence and a failure in a duty of care. Employers owe their employees a duty of care to ensure that the workplace is safe and jobs can be completed without an excessive risk of injury. In order to claim knee bursitis compensation against your employer, you must establish that by failing to provide you with knee pads or to instruct you on how to perform your tasks safely, you sustained knee bursitis.

Knee bursitis is one of the most common health complaints with carpet fitters. Laying carpet is a task which involves spending long periods of the working day on the knees, and over time this can take its toll on the knee joints. Knee bursitis is classed as a repetitive strain injury which results from frequent and prolonged kneeling and usually develops over a long period of time.

Claims for knee bursitis compensation are possible as knee bursitis is an occupational risk for carpet fitters, and the condition is preventable. Your employer should have been aware of the risk and have taken steps to educate his staff about the condition to enable them to take steps to avoid it. Since it is not possible to totally eliminate the risk of developing bursitis in the knees your employer, should have taken steps to reduce that risk to the minimum practical level. This is a legal responsibility under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005). Failure to fulfil his obligations laid down by this legislation is negligence and will make a knee bursitis compensation claim possible.

One low cost and simple way for an employer to fulfil his obligations under this legislation is to provide knee pads to staff to reduce the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries such as knee bursitis and arthritic joints. Your employer could be deemed to be negligent for failing to provide you with the proper personal protective equipment, and a claim for knee bursitis compensation may be possible in your case. If knee pads were recommended to protect you from injury and were not supplied by your employer, you should have been instructed to purchase them before you started work.

There are a number of factors which can affect your right to claim knee bursitis compensation. To confirm whether you are eligible to make a claim for knee bursitis you should speak with a personal injury solicitor. After assessing your case, your eligibility to claim knee bursitis compensation will be confirmed and a solicitor will assist you by preparing your knee bursitis claim to help maximise your chances of recovering knee bursitis compensation against your employer’s liability insurance policy.