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Warner v Huntingdon District Council, Court of Appeal

21 May 2002
The issues

Refuse collection – lifting – manual handling.

The facts

The Claimant was a Dustbin Man. He gave up work in 1996 after suffering lower back pain.

He alleged that his back injury was the result of lifting dust bags. The Council admitted he had received no manual handling training or information about the weight of the bags. There had been a risk assessment in 1995 which had recommended that courses be arranged in respect of the manual handling of dustbins. They had not been arranged. The Judge at first instance dismissed the claim, finding that the Claimant was an experienced man and that it was not clear what benefits training would have given to the Claimant and moreover, that it was possible that the injury was due to a degenerate back. The Claimant appealed.

The decision

1. The issue was not the question of whether or not there had been a breach, but whether the breach had been the cause of the Claimant’s condition.

2. There was no evidence that the way in which the Claimant did his work would have been affected in anyway by training.

Appeal dismissed.

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