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Chef sustains painful back injury at work

Our specialist Personal Injury lawyers based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured £40,000 for a claimant chef who sustained a back injury at work after his employer introduced a new system of delivering food to students.

The claimant in this Personal Injury claim was a 36 year old school chef who had been working for his employer for four years, throughout which, he had not suffered any back problems.

In September 2012, his employer implemented a new system of delivering the food in which a counter service was introduced. As part of this service, new large china dishes were introduced and were used for both cooking and placing on the large counters for service.

The china dishes weighed 5kg when empty but could weight between 12kg and 14kg when full with food. The dishes would be cooked in ovens both low down and high up, requiring bending and stretching. The dishes would then be transferred on to trollies and manually moved to a hot cupboard beneath the counter and finally removed and placed on top of the counter when service was to begin.

After a few weeks the Claimant began to suffer severe pain in his back which led to him being signed off work from October 2012.

The team acted for the claimant in alleging that he had sustained injuries caused by the negligence and/or breach of statutory duty by his employers who had not properly assessed the risks associated with a change in working practices. These working practices were stopped after the claimant’s injury.

After medical records were obtained and considered, a Consultant Spinal & Trauma Orthopaedic Surgeon was instructed. He concluded that the Claimant’s injury sustained at work accelerated the onset of activity related symptoms caused by a pre-existing back problem by a period of ten years.

The team negotiated with the defendant and reached an out-of-court settlement of £40,000 for the Claimant.

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