Back Injury While Pregnant At Work – Can I Claim Compensation?
This guide could help you if you have suffered a back injury while pregnant at work. Employers must take certain steps to ensure you are safe when working. If they fail to do so, and you suffer a back injury as a result, then you may be able to claim.
In this guide, we will outline the steps that your employer is legally obligated to take to ensure your safety in the workplace. We will also discuss how you could suffer a back injury at work while pregnant and share some advice on making personal injury claims against your employer.
If you have any further questions surrounding making a personal injury claim for an accident at work while pregnant, contact a member of our team today. They can provide free legal advice, and they can also tell you if your claim could be valid. If so, they could put you in touch with one of our solicitors. To learn more:
- Call 0800 073 8804 to speak to an advisor
- Start your claim online
- You can ask us a question via our chat widget
Select A Section
- What Is A Back Injury While Pregnant At Work?
- Is It A Legal Requirement To Have A Risk Assessment When Pregnant?
- Common Workplace Risks When Pregnant At Work
- Types Of Back Injury While Pregnant At Work
- Settlements For A Back Injury While Pregnant At Work
- Start A Claim For Back Injuries while Pregnant At Work
The NHS recommends that those who are pregnant avoid engaging in heavy lifting activities, as this can cause back pain during pregnancy. As such, if a pregnant worker is given heavy lifting tasks to do at work, the lifting may cause or worsen back pain.
Pregnant workers may be more vulnerable to injuries, including back injuries. Moreover, workers who engage in manual handling tasks without the correct training or equipment may experience back injuries such as a slipped disc.
Can You Claim For A Back Injury At Work?
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), employers have a duty of care towards their workers. This means that they must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure their safety in the workplace. If they fail to fulfil this duty, which results in you suffering an injury, then this is known as negligence.
Contact our team of advisors to find out if you could claim for a back injury while pregnant at work.
Under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), it is a legal requirement for employers to carry out risk assessments to identify and mitigate workplace hazards. This legislation also implements the Pregnant Workers Directive, which is an EU directive, into UK law.
According to the MHSWR, employers must manage the risks to pregnant workers and workers who have given birth in the last six months. It also explains employers’ duties once they are notified that a worker is pregnant, has given birth in the last six months, or is breastfeeding.
What Should A Pregnancy Risk Assessment Include?
If a worker informs their employer that they are pregnant, the employer should conduct an individual risk assessment. This should include an assessment of exposure to materials or work processes that could cause harm to the foetus or mother.
If a risk assessment reveals a risk, the following should happen:
- Temporary adjustments to the working conditions or hours should be made so as to avoid the risk
- If this is not technically or objectively feasible, then the necessary measures should be taken to move a worker to another job
- If this is not technically or objectively feasible, then the worker should be granted maternity leave in accordance with national legislation
If you would like guidance on claiming compensation following a back injury while pregnant at work, speak with one of our advisors today.
Pregnant workers may be more vulnerable to back pain in pregnancy as a result of ligaments in the body becoming softer and easier to stretch, which can put strain on your joints. As such, some examples of workplace risks while pregnant can include:
- Lifting or carrying heavy objects, which can lead to a manual handling accident.
- Standing or sitting for long periods without a break or stretching
- Sitting without proper back support or posture
- Working in inappropriate footwear
- Working without the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Your requirements for PPE might change when you become pregnant, or you may have to get another size as your pregnancy progresses.
- Not getting enough rest
Not all instances of back pain during pregancy sustained at work will be grounds for a claim. For example, you may not know you are pregnant and carry on undertaking manual handling duties that result in back pain. However, your employer would not be expected to mitigate for a risk that they did not know about, so in these cases a claim could not be made.
If you have suffered a back injury while pregnant at work, get in touch with our advisors today to find out if you could claim.
As we have already mentioned, pregnant workers can be at a higher risk of back injuries at work. However, in order to form the basis of a successful claim, your injuries have to be a result of your employer breaching their duty of care.
With this in mind, some examples of back injuries you could sustain while pregnant at work include:
- Strains: this is when the muscle of tendons around the spine become torn. Consequently, the injured person may experience muscle spasms and pain.
- Sprains: this is when a back muscle becomes excessively stretched. The injured person may experience swelling, bruising, and pain.
- Slipped or herniated discs are injuries that push the soft tissue between your vertebrae to push out and become trapped. This can result in pain in the back, a tingling sensation in the limbs, and muscle weakness.
Contact our advisors if you have suffered a back injury while pregnant at work to find out if you could be eligible to receive compensation.
There are two kinds of compensation that you can pursue in a personal injury claim, which may come together to form your final award. These are general damages and special damages. General damages address the pain and suffering your injuries cause, and special damages address the financial impact of your injuries.
For example, if you need to pay for medical care that you cannot get through the NHS, this could be covered by special damages. You will need to provide evidence, such as an invoice or a bill, in order to do this
How Much Can You Claim For A Back Injury?
You may be wondering how much compensation you could receive for a back injury while pregnant at work. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding each claim, every settlement is different, and this means we cannot provide an average amount.
However, below, you can find a compilation of guideline compensation brackets that have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that often aids solicitors, judges, and other legal professionals in valuing personal injury compensation.
|Type Of Back Injury||Injury Notes||JCG Bracket|
|Severe Back Injury (i)||Severest levels of back injury involving damage to the nerve roots and the spinal cord.||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Severe Back Injury (ii)||A back injury with special features exempting it from a lower compensation bracket, such as damaged nerve roots and loss of sensation.||£74,160 to £88,430|
|Severe Back Injury (iii)||Soft tissue injuries which result in chronic conditions or vertebral fractures which cause permanent disability even after lengthy treatment.||£38,780 to £69,730|
|Moderate Back Injury (i)||Cases where the injury is similar to the bracket above, but the level of residual disability is lower.||£27,760 to £38,780|
|Moderate Back Injury (ii)||Commonly encountered back injuries such as soft tissue injuries and disturbance of ligaments that gives rise to backache fall under this bracket.||£12,510 to £27,760|
|Minor Back Injury (i)||The injury has either fully healed, or it has healed to the point of being a nuisance without surgery and within 2-5 years.||£7,890 to £12,510|
|Minor Back Injury (ii)||The person fully recovers and does not require surgical treatment. This happens in 12 to 24 months.||£4,350 to £7,890|
|Minor Back Injury (iii)||The person has fully recovered from the injury in 3 to 12 months, with no surgery needed.||£2,450 to £4,350|
|Minor Back Injury (iv)||Where the person has fully recovered in less than 3 months.||Up to £2,450|
|Moderate Neck Injury (i)||Neck injuries which lead to immediate symptoms. The injury could present as a dislocation or a bone fracture.||£24,990 to £38,490|
Please note that this table only applies to general damages and should only be used as a guide. Contact our team to learn more about compensation following an accident at work.
Our solicitors could offer you access to legal representation and advice with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) in place. Under this type of No Win No Fee arrangement, you generally do not have to pay any fees to your solicitor for their services unless your claim is successful.
In this case, your solicitor will only take a success fee from your compensation award. But, if your claim is not successful, then you typically won’t be required to pay your solicitor for their services.
To learn more about how a solicitor could benefit your claim, get in touch:
- Call 0800 073 8804 for more advice
- Use our online claim form to reach us
- Speak to an online claims advisor using our web chat service.
Further Resources For Pregnancy In The Workplace
For more helpful guides from our site:
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Warehouse Injury?
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Back Injury?
- A Guide To Heavy Furniture Lifting Injury Compensation Claims
Or, for further guidance:
- HSE – New and expectant mothers at work: Your health and safety
- GOV – Pregnant employees’ rights
- NHS – Common health problems in pregnancy
Thank you for reading our guide to claiming compensation if you suffered a back injury while pregnant at work.
Other Guides Available
- Royal Navy Accident At Work Claims Guide
- The Department For Transport Accident At Work Claims Guide
- A Guide To The Home Office Accident At Work Claims
- Can I Sue Amazon For An Injury At Work?
Written by Chelache
Edited By Hampton/Stocks