Caroline Sutherland’s back was damaged severely whilst she was working at Marks & Spencer in Bath. She worked on the home wear department and was asked to help unload cages, which she said were usually always boxes of cushions and soft home furnishings. Expecting the boxes to be light, she was unprepared when one unlabelled box contained heavy marble parasol stands. She said she pulled the box towards herself, realising too late that it was too heavy. When the wheels of the cage slipped, she had a choice of either letting the box drop onto her legs or holding onto it and damaging her back.
Caroline suffered acute back derangement or strain as a result of the unexpected heavy lift. She had eight months off work, but was unable to continue to work when she returned after that. She says she is now severely limited in the type of work she can now do. M&S admitted liability but did not pay up the £35,000 compensation until recently, almost seven years after the incident. Caroline said she is disgusted at the way she is treated and that her life has been ruined by Marks & Spencer’s incompetence. She says that the payout she received is hardly enough to cover a chiropractor, let alone to live on now that she is limited in what work she can do.
Your right to compensation
If you have been in an incident at work where your back was damaged because of incompetence or a lack of health and safety regulations, you could be entitled to compensation. Companies must have health and safety regulations in place to protect the health of their staff. This could be in the form of training for those who will be doing any lifting or manual handling, as well as proper labelling on boxes and proper use of any equipment, such as cages to assist in moving loads. If this does not happen, as in the case above, the company is liable for the accident and injury caused, and may be ordered to pay compensation to the injured party.
We can help you to claim
Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we have over 15 years’ experience in the industry and are proud to be represented by our patron, Esther Rantzen. We have a team of injury and accident experts who can offer free, no-obligation advice over the phone to you, and if you want to make a claim then you will benefit from our no win no fee policy. This means that there are no upfront costs and nothing to pay if your case is unsuccessful. Give us a call today on our 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500.