Member is compensated after suffering back injury at work

A Unite member has received more than £27,000 in compensation from his employer after suffering a back injury at work. 

At the time of the accident, Mr Naz was employed as a production operator but was doing the job of a team leader. He was lifting 25kg bags from pallets onto the floor when he felt an acute pain in his lower back. 

As a result, Mr Naz sustained soft tissue injuries to his back and, despite undergoing intensive physiotherapy, he was unable to carry out any further heavy lifting. 

He contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation. It was found that Mr Naz’s employer had not only failed to ensure a safe working environment, but it had also neglected to provide adequate manual handling training, which would have prevented the injury. 

Unite Legal Services argued that the employer was at fault and, following lengthy negotiations, proposed to take the employer to trial. This then resulted in a compensation payment of £27,500 for Mr Naz’s injuries and loss of earnings incurred because he had to resign from his job as a result of continuing back pain. 

It was found that during the course of the claim, the employer had carried out surveillance to try and prove that Mr Naz had not been honest about his injuries, despite an experienced medical expert stating that his injuries were definitely caused at work. 

Unite Legal Services made sure that Mr Naz kept 100% of his compensation with no deductions.

Mr Naz said: “Unfortunately there were no adequate training and health and safety measures taken by my employer and I suffered injuries as a consequence. The help and assistance that was provided to me by Unite Legal Services was invaluable and much appreciated during a very difficult time.” 

Karen Reay, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union, said:  “Our members need to be protected. Employers should be making sure that all staff are trained and risk assessments are carried out. This injury could and should have been avoided. Fortunately our member was able to benefit from Unite Legal Services.”