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Boxes Of Trouble

A warehouse supervisor has been awarded £4,500 compensation after he sustained soft tissue injuries to his neck, back and shoulder when heavy boxes from a container fell on him.

Mr S was working in 2007 when a container arrived from a company whose loads were known to be unsafe. Our client and his colleague opened the trailer and assessed the contents. The trailer was about three quarters full of boxes with the first few rows being stepped. Behind this, the boxes were stacked up to 12 boxes high and 14 boxes across the width of the container. Each box weighed around four to six kilograms and there was an indication that the load wasn’t secure as the boxes were leaning forward slightly. Mr S reported the unsafe load to his manager, who instructed him to return and unload the container.

As this was being done, five or six columns of stacked boxes suddenly toppled over and caused our client to fall and be trapped on the floor. The physical injuries meant that he was unable to work for around six weeks and although physiotherapy helped with his recovery he remains reluctant to lift heavy loads out of concern that his symptoms may return.

Victoria Slater represented Mr. S in his claim that his employers were negligent and in breach of their duties by failing to implement a safe system of work. Whilst his employers attempted to put some of the blame on Mr. S, these arguments were entirely unsuccessful and Mr. S’s claim was settled on a 100% basis in his favour for £4,500.


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