Keep That Back Straight!

You may well have seen wallcharts giving instructions on the technique to use to safely lift a square shaped empty box, however in a real-life workplace the lifting task is rarely that easy.

Companies are required by law to provide employees with health and safety information and the training programme should relate to the type of work that will actually be done during the working week.A�Therefore, a person working as a van delivery driver must be given safety training to enable them to safely do their work when they are at customersa�� premises, and not just given training on how to safely work in the warehouse.

An example of this is a van delivery driver that is given work delivering plumbing materials to a construction site where there is uneven ground and he loses his footing and suffers a back injury.A� Under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations the company employing the van driver must assess the risks to which the van driver is exposed whilst doing lifting work and provide him with safety training.A� If the company has failed to give the van driver safety training on doing lifting and carrying work at customersa�� premises where there is uneven ground then it is in breach of the safety regulations.

The court of appeal made this decision when it heard a compensation claim made by a van delivery driver after he suffered an accident whilst making a delivery to a construction site.A� The appeal court decided that the company employing the driver could not just blame the construction site for the accident because they were in breach of their duties owed to their employee in failing to give him the necessary safety training to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

The court of appeala��s decision in the case of Smith v Notaro Limited