A Carpel tunnel syndrome claim win by Corries work compensation team after a hardfought victory has secured compensation for a young man who worked in an abattoir. The win may help others injured from repetitive jobs which have caused them problems. Read on here for more information and how it might help others like you or your work mates.
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Carpel tunnel syndrome is a condition of compression of the median nerve which is often due to exposure to vibration or repetitive work.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) – what the case was about
Our client Mr S was employed by Company 1 from May 2008 to October 2014 at an abattoir owned by Company 2.
In December 2012 Mr S went to his doctor suffering with numbness in his left hand. He had tests and was told he had carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) in his left wrist. Following this diagnosis he then had left-sided CTS decompression surgery in July 2013.
He returned to work eight weeks later. His job was not changed and nothing was done to help him. Within a few months he started to develop CTS problems in his right wrist. He then needed surgery on that wrist in August 2014. In October 2014 he was made redundant
Mr S came to us for help and advice.
What did we do?
Mr S’s claim concerned us. Because he was only 23 years old when he was made redundant we though he was very young to have this condition. We got to work and investigated it carefully.
First of all we went through his medical records with a fine tooth comb. Due to the link we thought was there we sought expert advice. The expert found that the repetitive nature of his job in having to handle and cut and trim and move the hides of dead animals all day had caused his CTS problem.
The case was put to the two companies. it was robustly denied by them both. Despite our efforts to get them to settle they would not. The case dragged on.
As the case was defended we issued court proceedings. Each and every point was taken and no point was conceded by either of the defendants. It was evident that Mr S would have to go to trial.
We exchanged statements and other measures but no progress to settlement was made.
The solicitors agreed to use an engineer to see if the work breached health and safety rules. A site visit was held.
The engineer produced a report in the defendants favour. He did not think the work breached health and safety rules.It seemed that after a long fought battle the case was over. However a key issue came out of this report
The engineer pointed out that when Mr S returned to work after his first surgery a reasonable employer could or should have made investigations to decide what had caused his problems. It would have been sensible to consider his job. Work breaks or job rotation or other methods to cut down the repetitive nature of this work should have been considered.
Back to the medical expert
We went back to the medical expert to get his input. He did not accept the engineers report. However his view was that the work caused the carpal tunnel syndrome. However he agreed with the engineer that the companies should have done something to avoid the problem happening in the right wrist and thus avoid his redundancy.
All of this evidence was finalised in the last month before a listed two-day trial.
Having been aware of the issues we made an offer in April 2018 to try and settle the case. When the medical experts reply was received the case settled with acceptance of that offer within seven days.
Corries Director Howard Bonnett who settled the case added
“We are delighted with this result. Repetitive strain claims or cases of CTS are not so common these days. However many people are doing repetitive jobs every day and suffering injury without knowing that they can claim. I hope this case acts as a wake up call for them and to prompt employers to look after staff doing repetitive jobs. Most of all it should start a review of what has gone on and to make sure others are not affected.
Therefore if you are at work and think it is causing you problems you should:
- Seek medical support either at the G.P or through a works doctor and;
- If there is a problem look at how you do the job and how it can be changed or;
- To see if job rotation, work breaks or other measures can be used so that the job gets done but not at the expense of your health.”
If you think your work has caused you injury then why not give us a call? We are happy to investigate cases and give you an honest answer. Call us now for FREE on 0800 783 7839 or contact us through our webpage and we will see if we can help.
For more information on CTS then this link to the Health & Safety Executive website gives some helpful information right here