Common causes of shoulder injuries
Shoulder injuries range in severity from minor strains and overuse injuries to frozen shoulder, dislocations and severe mobility impairment. They are relatively common in a workplace setting and are usually caused by heavy lifting, operating heavy machinery or repetitive motion.
Shoulder injuries might also be caused by everyday work activities that are not particularly strenuous. Those who routinely carry out overhead work are more at risk of developing a shoulder injury and are advised to take precautions.
If you injure your shoulder while at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation. The amount you receive will depend on the type and seriousness of your injury and how it impacts your day-to-day life.
Duties of the employer
Employers have a legal duty to assess the risk of injury in the workplace and to mitigate that risk.
For example, some shoulder injuries may be alleviated by:
- Modifying your work habits
- Providing ergonomic work equipment
- Providing mechanical lifting aids
- Reducing the amount of lifting and stretching you do
- Ensuring you have the appropriate safety training.
Employers who fail to take precautions to ensure your safety may be negligent and therefore responsible for your injuries. The courts will, almost always, find the employer negligent if it breaches a specific health and safety provision such as those set out in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
What should I do after a shoulder injury?
Seeing a doctor
Even if you feel your injury is minor, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Seeking professional medical advice will make sure that your injuries are fully recorded. Any problems can be addressed at the earliest point.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
Keep a record of your accident and injuries
A record of your accident will help you to:
- Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and benefits
- Make an injury compensation claim
Even if you don’t plan to claim anything right now, it is a very good idea to make a record while you still clearly remember what happened. You could also keep a record of your recovery, and how you symptoms change over time.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting a shoulder injury
Whether you are an employee, contractor or site visitor, the way you report the accident will usually be the same. You should tell the construction site manager or safety representative about the accident as soon as possible.
If you are unable to report the accident, someone else can do it for you, but the accident should be reported in the company's Accident Book.
Can I claim injury compensation for a shoulder injury?
As a basic rule, If you were injured in the last 3 years and someone else was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation for a shoulder injury.
Financial assistance if you are unable to work
After an accident on a construction site, you may be able to claim for SSP and other benefits if your injuries mean you are not able to work. You may also be able to make a work accident compensation claim.
Will my employment status affect my right to claim?
Whether you are employed, self-employed, on a zero-hours contract or employed through an agency, a claim should still be possible. There are however a number of things you need to be aware of.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much compensation can I claim?
Compensation is calculated by adding Special and General damages together and deducting any success fees you may have agreed with your solicitor.
Calculating special damages is straightforward. Any losses or expenses you incur as a result of the accident are simply added up.
General damages compensation for work injuries is more complicated, especially if you have multiple injuries. is calculated with reference to a published guide used by lawyers.
The guide is not consumer-friendly and is hard to navigate.
Our calculator gives a good idea of what you could receive in respect of your injuries.
Making a No Win, No Fee claim
To make a claim for a shoulder injury, you will need to appoint a solicitor.
Work injury claims in the UK are usually made on a No Win, No Fee basis as Legal Aid is no longer available for accident claims.
Your solicitor will ask you to sign a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)’ which is the legal term for ‘No Win, No Fee’. The CFA will set out the terms and conditions of the agreement, what your solicitor will do for you and what fees they will receive if you win.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor