Compensation for Hurting Back on a Faulty Office Chair

I want to claim compensation for hurting my back on a faulty office chair. I am suffering from a repetitive strain injury from a lopsided chair, but my boss told me it is not possible to claim for this type of injury. Is this correct?

Your employer appears to be mistaken about when a claim for compensation can be made, as compensation for hurting back on a faulty office chair can certainly be recovered for a repetitive strain injury.

Claims for repetitive strain injuries tend to be more complicated than for injuries sustained in office accidents, as it can be more problematic proving negligence of an employer and there is also the problem of contributory negligence on the part of the victim.

An employer has a responsibility to ensure that workers can perform their jobs without being placed at risk of sustaining an injury. This responsibility includes the provision of an ergonomic office chair that is in full working order. A failure to provide this or to check that that the chair was not faulty could be considered to be employer negligence. However, employees also have responsibilities concerning their own personal safety at work and have a duty to report unsafe work equipment when it is identified.

If you were aware that your chair was faulty and did not advise your employer of the problem, this would be classed as negligence towards your personal safety at work. Although you may still be able to make a claim for a back injury due to a faulty office chair, your employer’s insurance company may seek to reduce liability to pay compensation due to contributory negligence on your part. This could see compensation payments reduced accordingly to take any negligence towards your own personal safety into account.

If you had previously complained about your faulty office chair and no action was taken, this would certainly constitute negligence on the part of your employer and should entitle you to make a claim for a back injury due to a faulty office chair.

Although the symptoms of a repetitive strain injury can appear suddenly, typically they develop over a period of time. If you had been suffering from back pain you should have advised your employer accordingly, and ideally have made a report in your employer’s accident book to this effect. If you have not yet made an accident book report it is essential that your injury is recorded as soon as possible.

It would also be highly beneficial to your case if you could obtain photographic evidence of the fault with your chair. Photographs can be used to support a claim for a back injury due to a faulty office chair. If other work colleagues have also been suffering from back problems, this could indicate that the chairs used in the office were unsuitable. Statements could be taken from work colleagues to this effect and be used to support your claim for compensation for hurting back on a faulty office chair.

Since your claim for office chair injury compensation is likely to be complex, we strongly advise you to seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor. You should also allow a solicitor to investigate your case and pursue a claim on your behalf. A solicitor will collect evidence of negligence and will arrange for you to undergo a full medical examination to establish the extent of your injury to help determine how much office chair injury compensation you are entitled to claim.

Once your claim has been professionally prepared, your solicitor will commence the claims process and will attempt to obtain your full entitlement to compensation from your employer’s insurance company.


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