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Machinist Suffering From Repetitive Strain Injury Awarded Settlement

A West Midlands man left with a debilitating permanent injury to his shoulder due to prolonged and excessive use of machinery at work received a four-figure settlement from his former employer. 

Mr A was diagnosed with a tear in his rotator cuff muscle in his shoulder, caused by his work in the temporary workshop of a national energy supplier. We argued during the course of the case that the workshop Mr A was based in was poorly designed, meaning that he was working in an extremely confined space, having to adopt an awkward position and posture. 

Mr A instructed our specialist workplace injury lawyers to investigate his case and to see if more could have been done by his employer to prevent his injury. Now, despite the defendant disputing liability, his legal team has secured a £7,000 settlement from his employer to cover his loss of earnings and medical treatment.

Further allegations included the lack of adequate heating as well as poor sanitary facilities. His work involved the use of welding and cutting machinery which we argued led to the development of his symptoms.

Mr A began working for the company as an agency worker where he was employed as a machinist and a fitter in January 2007. His first symptoms began in 2010 when he started to suffer from a dull ache in his left shoulder and neck, but by April 2011 he was in so much pain that he couldn’t lie down on his side and struggled to sleep.

Alex Shorey, an expert workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “Repetitive strain injuries should not be taken lightly. These are often painful injuries which can have a major and devastating impact on an individual’s life and can be difficult to treat.

“Sadly our client suffered a painful and permanent injury because of his work. I hope this case highlights to all employers the importance of health and safety policies which can go some way to preventing injury and illness through carrying out repetitive tasks.” 

Alex highlighted that employers have a duty of care to their staff to support those carrying out work that is repetitive and/or involves forceful movements, including:

  • Ensuring a full risk assessment is carried out 
  • Providing the proper training
  • Rotating the work
  • Work periods involving a lot of repetition should be broken up with short frequent breaks.

Commenting on settlement of his claim, Mr A said: “After becoming injured due to the negligent practices of my employer, I was shocked to find that my employer had failed to follow in-house quality rules by not recording the incidents and my complaints. 

"After months of running around looking for advice I was recommended Irwin Mitchell who have been fantastic in their efforts to prove my ex-employers to be at fault. I would recommend anyone in such a situation to contact Irwin Mitchell at the first opportunity.” 

If you or a loved one has suffered from repetitive strain injuries, such as bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy and vibration white finger caused by conditions at work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.

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