Fork Lift Truck Driver Injured At Work – Fit To Return To His Job?

A 62-year old who worked in the logistics department of a large manufacturer had an accident at work in September 2008, when he slipped and jarred his arm. As he did not feel any pain immediately afterwards he continued working, but over the next few days he began to experience pain in his arm.

Workplace Risk Assessments

His employer sent him for physiotherapy in the same month, but when his symptoms got worse they asked us to assess him. He was offered an appointment within a week and our occupational health physician assessed him and advised him to go to hospital for further checks. Our OHP suspected that he had some nerve damage in his arm. He was subsequently advised to stay away from work until further tests were carried out.

Following assessment at the hospital it was concluded that he was suffering severe chronic nerve damage.

Having undergone treatment for the condition, he was referred back to us by his employer at the beginning of October 2008 to establish whether he was fit to return to work and resume his normal duties, and for advice on any redeployment issue if necessary. Our OHP confirmed that he would need to remain off work until he had an MRI scan done by the hospital.

He was reviewed again, taking the MRI results and hospital notes into consideration. He was advised that he was fully fit to return to his duties as a fork-lift truck driver in December 2008. The only restriction was that for the first two weeks after his return a manager must be informed about improvements in his gripping ability.

He returned to work on 17th December 2008. Following his assessment he has been more vigilant about avoiding accidents, and he has not had any time off work since we closed the case.

We feel that both the company and the employee greatly benefited from occupational health involvement in this case. The case was resolved within a short period of time, considering the severity of the injury, and the employee has not had any sickness absence since.

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