Back Injury at Work: What to Do

Reading time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, April 27, 2021

Back injuries are some of the most common workplace injuries experienced by UK employees. The UK Labour Force Survey has found that there were 176,000 back problems suffered by workers in 2019/20.

Back injuries at work could happen in any industry. You may be more likely to suffer this kind of injury if you have a physical job. Musculoskeletal disorders – which include back injuries – are most common in workers in agriculture, construction and health and social work, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

But even office workers could find themselves affected. A slip, trip or fall in the workplace could be responsible for any kind of worker injuring their back. Manual handling or a fall from height are also common ways you could suffer from a back injury.

After you’ve hurt your back while working, there are a few things you should do to get your recovery off to the best start.

Get medical help

The first thing to do is get the medical attention you’ll need to get yourself on the road to recovery. Make sure you get the necessary care as soon as you can. The earlier you’re examined, the more beneficial your treatment could be.

You might not be able to tell at first how serious the injury is. It’s important not to assume that it’s only a minor injury – trust the medical professionals to do their jobs and check you out properly. You only risk complications further down the line by not getting the right help.

Because your accident happened at work, you may first be helped by a first aider. It’s a good idea to let them know everything that happened so they can give you the best advice. But they aren’t the only person you should tell about your injury.

Don’t forget to report your accident to your employer. Tell your line manager what happened and how you’ve been hurt. You should also make sure it’s recorded in your company’s accident book. If you’re not sure it has been, ask to see it.

Was someone responsible?

When you’re reporting your injury, you can work out who was responsible – if anyone. There will be times when an accident wasn’t caused by anyone and was just one of those unavoidable things.

But there are times where your employer’s negligence could be responsible for your back injury. This could be because:

  • The equipment you were using wasn’t properly maintained, making it unsafe for use
  • You slipped on a spill that hadn’t been cleaned up
  • You were hit by a moving object or vehicle

Although your employer may not have been the one to injure you directly, they are responsible for preventing accidents like these from happening. Your health and safety should be a priority for your employer. They should be doing all they can to keep you as safe as possible.

If your employer was responsible for your accident, you could make a compensation claim against them.

Get help making a claim

Put your evidence together

Evidence is what makes an injury claim strong. So if you choose to make a claim after suffering a back injury at work, your evidence could be the reason you succeed. It’s a good idea to start getting your evidence together as soon as you can. This will help you get your claim submitted before the three-year deadline is up.

Your evidence could include:

  • A statement from you, explaining how your injury has affected you
  • CCTV footage of the accident, if available
  • The report in your work accident book
  • Witness statements from colleagues who saw your accident happen
  • Your medical records after getting treatment

Your solicitor might also arrange for you to have a medical assessment. This will involve a healthcare professional examining your injury and reporting on how severe it is and how long your recovery might take.

Think about legal action

If you’re not sure if you have a claim, our friendly and understanding claims advisors can help you work that out. If you do, they can match you with one of our expert No Win No Fee solicitors.

Your solicitor will then be able to help you put forward the strongest case possible, giving you the best chance of securing the compensation you’re entitled to.

You can use any compensation you’re awarded to pay for medical treatment, including physiotherapy, as well as any mobility aids or home adaptations you might need. Your compensation could also let you take time off work to recover without having to worry about any loss of earnings.

To talk to the team at First4Lawyers, just give us a call or start your claim online.

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