Compensation has been awarded to three female RAF recruits who claimed that having to repeatedly march alongside their taller male colleagues left them with spinal and pelvic injuries.
According to the Mail on Sunday, lawyers handling the women’s compensation claims said they’d had to extend their strides to 30 inches to stay in step with taller male recruits over several weeks during basic training. And it reported that official RAF policy now says female recruits shouldn’t be expected to extend their strides beyond 27 inches.
The paper reported that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had awarded £100,000 compensation to each of the women, who claimed that having to carry the same heavy packs as male colleagues also contributed to their injuries.
Tracie Davies, of Odiham, Hampshire, was 22 when she began basic training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire in January 2006.
She told the Mail on Sunday: “The guys were over 6ft tall so I was over-striding to march in step with them.
“When I started getting pains in my groin I was told to march through it, even when I was carrying a heavy pack which was almost the size of me. I trusted the medics to know better than me so I carried on marching.”
‘Recruit training reviewed’
The MoD is reported to have confirmed agreeing a settlement with the women. A spokeswoman said: “When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation.
“Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so. The RAF takes the welfare of their recruits very seriously and has reviewed their recruit training practices to mitigate against this risk.”
Compensation pay-outs for injuries caused at work take into account claimants’ pain and suffering, the degree to which they’ve been injured, past and future financial losses, the level of care needed, and property losses.
Source: Daily Mail