Manual Handling Accident in Food Production Workplace

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Our client, who is originally from Poland, was referred to Thompsons through his union, Usdaw, following a manual handling incident during December 2017 which led to a personal injury.

The background

The manual handling injury occurred during the course of our client's employment as a production worker for a multinational food manufacturer. His work involved picking goods including cream and milk from a warehouse and moving them on pallets and trolleys.

As part of his regular duties, he and his colleagues were responsible for using pallet lifters to move IBC (immediate bulk container) tanks containing more than 1.5 tons of cream.

On the day of the incident which caused our client's injuries, he was tasked with moving four IBC tanks, on his own, from one side of the dairy to a loading area approximately 200m away. This required considerable manual handling exertion to move the pallet lifter and IBC tanks. While he had been involved in moving IBC tanks previously, our client had never moved such heavy tanks on his own and over such a great distance before.

The consequences

The day after the task our client suffered pain in his stomach and groin. He was diagnosed with and inguinal hernia which required surgery.

Thompsons personal injury solicitors in Scotland intimated a claim but the defender's insurer refused to discuss settlement. It was their position that our client had received manual handling training and a pallet lifter had been supplied for the task so they could not be held liable.

However, we obtained supporting witness statements from our client's colleagues stating that the task was typically carried out by two employees and our client had been told to carry out the work alone.

The settlement

Our work accident solicitors raised court proceedings and, prior to hearing, the defender put forward a manual handling claim settlement sum of £4,000. This offer was rejected.

A further offer was received, in the sum of £5,500 and, following discussion with our client, this personal injury compensation sum was accepted.

Settlement was agreed on 1 April 2021.

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