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Employer compensates ‘overworked’ staff

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Employers are being warned to properly assess all health and safety dangers when introducing new working systems following a recent compensation award in Cumbria.

When a new product was introduced to 41-year-old factory worker Geoffrey Coleman, he was simply told to pack it away like he always had in the past. His duties involved packing large sheets of paper into a plastic bag with another member of staff. Once packed, the bags weighed around 50 kilograms.

But, due to the nature of his work, and his employer’s lack of safety assessment, Mr Coleman began to develop repetitive strain injuries in his forearms, suffering severe ligament damage as a result.

After consulting personal injury solicitors, Mr Coleman successfully sued his employers, receiving £3,000 compensation.

“Mr Coleman’s employer had a responsibility to risk assess the job and ensure that employees doing repetitive work are rotated between tasks to avoid injury. Because the company failed to do this it is liable for Mr Coleman’s injury,” said his solicitor.

Following the payout, the factory’s owners have introduced safer systems and performed extensive investigations into how the worker’s job could be made safe and easy.

While Mr Coleman has now recovered from the strain and continues to work at the same factory, employers within labour intensive industries have been told to take note of the financial and physical dangers poor health and safety can attract.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

September 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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