Unite Legal Services recovered just over £19,000 for a member after they lifted an untagged heavy bag, exacerbating a pre-existing shoulder injury. The member was off work for a significant period and a medical expert concluded they would require surgery.
As a member of Unite they will receive 100% of their compensation, unlike non-union workers using high street solicitors who regularly take as much as 25% of any compensation.
According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over 15,000 people had to take off more than seven days due to injuries sustained whilst handling, lifting or carrying during 2012/2013.
In addition, best estimates are that baggage handlers are five times more likely to suffer manual handling injuries than workers in other industries. This represents not only a huge cost to the economy but more than that it shows that every year thousands of people are suffering injuries that are having a massive impact on their lives and that could have been avoided.
Bags that weigh over 23kg should be labelled to give the individuals notice of the weight of the bag but unfortunately Unite Legal Services’ solicitors are still dealing with many cases on behalf of workers who have been injured lifting heavy bags. Often the bags have not been labelled or the label may have fallen off.