Lifting A Box Was Bad For The Back

28 Aug 2011

A garden centre employee who damaged his back at work has warned employers to make sure employees are trained in manual handling techniques. GMB member Mark Lee, 41, was off work a month following the injury suffered while working for Whitleys Garden Centre in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, in 2008. He was attempting to lift an unmarked 30 kilo box when he felt a sharp pain in his back. He suffered from muscle strain and even when he returned to work he was on light duties because he still suffered from pain. Whitleys did not admit liability but faced with a GMB backed compensation claim settled out of court for £4,500.

Mr Lee said he decided to pursue compensation because he was concerned about his loss of wages. He also felt his employers should have taken more care to avoid the injury. ‘I decided to pursue compensation because I was concerned about my colleagues,’ he said. ‘I now know the box should have been marked so I knew how heavy it was and I should have had someone helping me to move it.’

GMB regional secretary Tim Roache commented: ‘Back injuries can be painful and debilitating. Employers must ensure staff are trained in lifting techniques or work out ways to avoid situations like the ones faced by Mr Lee.’