A cashier working at a NatWest bank in Cheriton, Kent, has won £18,500 from her former employers after suffering from an injured back after lifting heavy coin bags.
The 26 year old bank cashier, Mary Deller, was asked by her employers to carry two bags of coins. Each bag contained five hundred £1 coins and weighed 1.5stone. When lifting the bags she reported to have felt “intense pain” and ever since the incident in September 2010 she has been “crippled with pain”, having to take painkillers on a daily basis. When she visited her GP he advised her to see a specialist spinal surgeon who later diagnosed a condition meaning that discs in her spine were moving out of line.
Unfortunately, Miss Deller has been unable to work since her injury at work and as a result of an out of court settlement she has won £18,500 to cover her loss of earnings. When asked about her injury, Miss Deller said: “Eventually I couldn’t get out of bed because it hurt so much and my doctors signed me off work for eight weeks.” She had been prescribed a concoction of medications including pain killers, anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants that left her feeling light-headed and fed up.
It can be pointed that perhaps the underlying cause of this accident was the fact that Miss Deller was never taught how to lift heavy items properly by NatWest. She was never given any health and safety induction or general hints and tips about how to lift heavier objects without hurting herself.
It is essential that employers take seriously their responsibility of protecting the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Employers must do whatever is deemed reasonably practicable to achieve this.