Compensation Lawyer – Breach for failure to train in manual handling
In a recent Queensland case the Plaintiff was a personal care worker who transported clients to and from medical appointments. One of the clients had a wheelie walker which the Plaintiff folded and placed in the boot of her car prior to driving the client to her appointment. When the Plaintiff tried to remove the wheelie walker, she experienced significant lower back pain and suffered personal injury.
The Plaintiff claimed that her employer had breached its duty of care in failing to provide training with regard to loading and unloading wheelie walkers. The Defendant argued that this activity was a simple and everyday task which did not require any training.
The employer’s manual handling guidelines referred to ‘appropriate manual handling techniques’ but did not specify what these techniques might be. Despite also advising that ‘adequate information, training and supervision’ should be undertaken, none was provided. There was a learning package provided to workers in relation to manual tasks and handling of people, but it included no specific instruction on how to manually handle wheelie walkers. The Court noted that wheelie walkers would be routinely handled in the course of such a care worker’s duties.
The Court found there was a breach of the employer’s duty, determining that the risk of injury to the Plaintiff was foreseeable and the burden of eliminating that risk would have been negligible. It was reasonable to expect the employer to provide warning and/or training to workers in relation to wheelie walkers which would be frequently unloaded.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work, there may be an entitlement to compensation. It is important to seek advice from a workers compensation lawyer.
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Matthews Folbigg has over 50 years’ experience protecting personal injury and compensation rights of people living in Parramatta and the Hills.