Back injured lifting 20kg bag of onions

A supermarket worker, who injured his back when lifting a bag of onions from the top of a pallet, has settled his action against his employer after the case opened in court.

The court heard that the worker, whose job was to help fill shelves with product before the supermarket opened, had wheeled out a shrink-wrapped pallet, which was about two metres high, from the warehouse to the store. A bag containing 20 individual 1kg bags was placed loosely on top of the pallet.

Counsel for the injured worker told the court that the worker had no choice but to stand on his tip-toes when he reached up to lift the bag off. Such was the weight, counsel said, his client would, when giving evidence, describe feeling a pull on his back as he placed the bag on the ground.

In his claim, the worker alleged the employer had failed to train him or his fellow employees in the correct procedures for the safe carrying out of his duties. He also claimed that he was permitted to carry an object so heavy as to be likely to cause injury. The employer denied the claims.

After the accident, the worker attended his GP and a local medical centre and received pain killing injections. The court was told that the worker had not worked since the accident, which occurred in 2014. The court also heard that he will require surgery at two points on his spine to help cure resulting chronic pain.

On the second day of the hearing, the court was told the case had been settled. (Gadzinski v Lidl: High Court, December 2019)

Source: Health and Safety Review