My employer has told me that I cannot claim warehouse injury compensation as I injured my back when lifting using an incorrect technique. However I have not been told how to lift properly as I missed the training through illness. Does this mean I cannot claim for my back injury?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

My employer has told me that I cannot claim warehouse injury compensation as I injured my back when lifting using an incorrect technique. However I have not been told how to lift properly as I missed the training through illness. Does this mean I cannot claim for my back injury?

Answer:

A claim for warehouse injury compensation should be possible provided that your back injury was caused by employer negligence. Negligence is a legal term which means that your employer owed you a duty of care and by action or inaction has failed to fulfil that obligation. If you have sustained an injury as a direct result, you will be entitled to make a claim for warehouse injury compensation.

You must make a record in your employer’s ‘Accident Book’ detailing the accident; what you were lifting, how you believe your injury was sustained and your contact details. You must also ensure that your back is checked by a doctor at the earliest possible opportunity if you have not yet sought medical attention. Failure to seek treatment will jeopardise your chances of recovering warehouse injury compensation for a manual handling injury.

Manual handling is specifically covered under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, (General Application) Regulations 2007, which places a number of legal responsibilities on employers. Employers are required to conduct risk assessments in the workplace at regular intervals and manual handling must be kept to the minimum practical level. Lifting equipment should be provided as appropriate and training on proper lifting techniques must be provided to all staff that is required to lift objects at work as part of their general duties.

Should a member of staff miss the manual handling training, this should be rescheduled at the earliest possible opportunity. You should however have been provided with printed information on correct lifting techniques to ensure that you could work safely until full training could be provided. The Health and Safety Authority provides information booklets on manual handling in the workplace, and these should also have been made available to you by your employer.

A failure to provide you with appropriate training is a failure in a duty of care, and is negligence on the part of your employer. Since you have sustained an injury as a direct result of not being instructed on proper lifting techniques, you should be able to make a claim for warehouse injury compensation.

However, you should speak with a personal injury solicitor about claiming warehouse injury compensation. Since your employer has indicated that you are not eligible to make a claim, your claim may be rejected or contested. Having a personal injury solicitor working on your claim can reduce the chances of this happening. You will also be able to confirm that you are in fact eligible to make a warehouse injury compensation claim.