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Cumulative Back Injuries

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What is Cumulative Back Injury?

Back pain is very common and will generally improve within a few weeks or months. Cumulative back problems are as a result of minor misuse or lifting over a period of time, or repetitive misuse such as improper lifting techniques used daily during work.

Lower back pain is the most common type of chronic back pain and may be attributed to poor posture over many years, lack of exercise or improper lifting techniques. Often the pain does not occur immediately after the injury.

Cumulative Back Injuries


What are the Symptoms of Cumulative Back Injuries?

Back pain can have many symptoms, including:

  • A dull aching sensation in the lower back.
  • A stabbing or shooting pain that can radiate down the leg to the foot.
  • An inability to stand up straight without pain.
  • A decreased range of motion and diminished ability to flex the back.

The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.

What Types of Work Most Commonly Puts You at Risk of Developing Cumulative Back Injuries?

The risk to suffering a cumulative back problem as a result of work is not limited to a finite number of industries, as literally anyone who undertakes any kind of manual handling operation will be at risk of common back injuries at work if this is not performed appropriately.

Jobs which manual handling operations will put you at risk of back injuries. Manual handling operations as defined by the relevant regulations can be seen in countless jobs. A number of examples are as follows:

  • Home care assistants required to lift patients from beds to wheelchairs.
  • Supermarket workers pushing heavy trolleys distributing goods.
  • Furniture removers moving and delivering furniture.
  • Staff having to carry/move goods within a warehouse/distribution centre.

These are just a few examples of manual handling operations that can occur in numerous jobs/roles, which may compound cumulative back injuries.

Common Back Injuries At Work

What is the Duty of My Employer to Protect Me From Back Injury?

 So far as is reasonably practicable, your employer should avoid the need for you to undertake any manual handling operation.

If it is not possible to avoid manual handling, then a risk assessment of the manual handling procedure should be done and all appropriate steps to reduce the risks of injury to the lowest reasonably practicable should be taken. These include:

  • Appropriate training on the current method to lift.
  • Appropriate information about the weight and distribution of the load.
  • Appropriate lifting aids such as a hoist if appropriate.
  • Assessment on the working environment, e.g: space constraints, uneven slippery or unstable surface.

Failure to undertake a risk assessment on manual handling operations will be a breach of an employers duty to their employees, and any injury caused by this breach will be compensated in damages.

Which Experts Will Be Needed For My Claim?

We will generally require you to see an orthopaedic expert with a specialism in back injuries.  It is based upon what the expert says that we will be able to assess whether the injuries will be associated with work.

What Will My Claim Be Worth?

The value of your claim will depend on the severity of the injuries linked with the work. The court will be guided by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) guidelines which set out the levels for different awards. Injuries for back claims for pain suffering can range from a few thousand pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds, depending on recovery and how much is associated with your work.

You will also be able to claim for any specific financial/out-of-pocket losses, such as loss of earnings, or medication costs that have been directly caused by the work.

How Do I Make A Claim?

If you have read the above and feel that you may be suffering from any of the symptoms whilst exposed to repetitive tasks at work, call Oakwood Solicitors to speak to our dedicated Industrial Disease team.

In order to run the majority of Personal Injury claims, you have to have started the claim within three years of the injury. However, with Industrial Disease claims, it may be that the injury started over a period of time and was only diagnosed within the last three years. We will be able to clarify this for you.



Will I Lose My Job if I Make A Claim?

If you are still working for the Defendants they can not dismiss you for making or proposing to make a claim. If your employer attempts to do so when you are likely able to make a successful unfair dismissal claim. Generally, in our experience, the high majority of insurers understand their duties owed to you and the right you have to pursue a claim if this duty has been breached.

In the high majority of matters, the claim will normally be transferred from the Defendants directly to their insurers and it will be the insurers who will deal with the Defending of the action on a day to day basis.

How Long Will My Case Take?

The length of time for a case can vary and can strongly depend on how the Defendants want to conduct their Defence. Depending on whether liability is disputed or accepted, claims can take somewhere from nine months to two years to complete.

Why Use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to Run My Back Injury Claim?

We have a very experienced and dedicated Industrial Disease team. They are able to identify whether a claim is likely to be viable at an early stage and give advice accordingly.

The team works with an extensive network of orthopaedic surgeons, have dealt with a number of claims in all areas of Industrial Disease and achieved great success for our clients.



How Would the Case Be Funded?

Our cases are brought on a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ basis. If we accept your claim, as long as terms of the agreement are complied with by yourself namely that you do not mislead and you co-operate, there will be no charge to you in the event the case fails. If the case succeeds, there will be a deduction to be made from the damages.


For further advice regarding common back injuries at work or any other enquiries, get in touch today for a free initial consultation in complete confidence. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Tim Fieldhouse

Solicitor and Head of Industrial Disease

0113 200 9765

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