The claimant was a home care assistant for the elderly. She had done the job for 20 years.

The service user was a 15 stone patient who had had a series of strokes. The claimant said the user had become a dead weight when “log rolling” in bed, when he used to assist with the move.

The Judge agreed there was a breach of Reg 4(2) of the Manual Handling Op Regs in failing to re-assess the risk of manual handling to the client after the user’s deterioration in health.

Northampton CC, 13 August 2008.

Light bag still needed handle

The claimant was picking up a postbag as part of his job. It was a relatively light bag but was stuffed full with files and cassettes and had no handle. There was little loose material to grip on to and the claimant injured his hand when trying to grip and lift it with one hand.

The defendant witness agreed there was no training in how to handle these bags. The Judge held that the failure to train or advise the claimant as how to lift the bags and the failure to provide a handle was a breach of duty. Moreover the bags were not proper equipment as, by stuffing them with files, they were not being used for the purpose for which they were designed.

Taunton CC, 25 July 2008.