Case 6: Lower back injury following slip/trip on uneven tile


Leading bakery retailer with over 1,000 shops nationwide. The business has a divisional structure with central bakeries around the country each supplying the shops in their surrounding areas.


In August 2003 a 35 year old assistant manager slipped/tripped on uneven tile injuring her lower back.


OHA were notified of the accident in October 2003 who referred the employee for physiotherapy treatment which commenced a week later.

The employee's symptoms failed to resolve with physiotherapy so an orthopaedic consultation was arranged for January 2004 which was followed by an MRI scan. The MRI scan confirmed an L4/5 disc prolapse requiring surgery that was carried out later that month. The OHA then organised postoperative physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

The assistant manager returned to her normal job in May 2004.

Cost of treatment and savings

£8630 for physiotherapy, investigations, surgery and consultant fees.  There was also a £21,590 claim against the company.

Return to work occurred after 8 months, some 15 months earlier than if occupational health advice, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy had not been in place.

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Updated 2023-06-15