Back Injury at Work: What to Do

What happens if I hurt my back at work?

Back injuries are some of the most common workplace injuries experienced by UK employees. The UK Labour Force Survey found that there were 182,000 work-related back problems reported in 2020/21 alone.

Back injuries can be debilitating in the worst cases. And if you’ve injured your back at work, you’ll most likely have questions about what will happen next.

We’ve set out the main steps to take after suffering a work-related back injury, so you can get your recovery off to the best start. These include:

  1. Getting medical help
  2. Reporting your injury
  3. Finding out who is responsible
  4. Putting your evidence together
  5. Seeking legal advice

We’ve explained each of these steps in further detail throughout this guide. But if you’d rather speak to someone directly about your back injury, our claims advisors can help.

Getting medical help

The first thing you should do after suffering any injury at work is seek medical attention. Make sure you get the care you need as soon as you can. The earlier you’re examined, the more beneficial your treatment could be.

You might not be able to tell at first how serious your injury is, especially if you’re in shock. And it’s important that you don’t assume it’s only a minor injury. You could risk complications further down the line by not getting the right help.

As well as providing you with the necessary care, a medical professional will also be able to create a record detailing the extent of your injuries. This could help you later on if you decide to make a claim.

Reporting your injury

Whether you’ve been injured in a workplace accident or you’ve developed a work-related back injury over time, it’s important that you report it to your employer.

If you’re able to, tell your line manager as soon as possible what has happened and how you’ve been hurt. You should also ensure that the details are recorded in your workplace’s accident logbook.

There will be cases where it’s not possible for you to record your injuries straight away. For example, if you’ve been taken into hospital after an accident. In these instances, a colleague should fill in the logbook on your behalf.

If you’re not sure whether your injuries have been recorded, you are well within your rights to ask to see the logbook yourself to make sure.

The report of your injury or accident should include:

  • Your information
    Including your name, job title and the name of your line manager
  • Details surrounding your injury
    A description of what happened, the time it took place (if it was an accident) and what was done to help you
  • How you’ve been affected
    Outlining the injuries you’ve suffered and how these have impacted you
  • Action taken
    Your employer should set out the steps they will take to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future
  • Medical treatment
    Detailing the type of medical treatment you’ve received in relation to your injury

Was someone responsible?

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, employers have a responsibility to assess and deal with any risks to the health and safety of their workers.

While some workplace injuries cannot be prevented, there are times where an employer’s negligence could be to blame. In these cases, you could be entitled to compensation.

Some examples of employer negligence include:

  • Failing to maintain equipment
    Even the safest of workplace equipment can become dangerous if it is not regularly maintained. Your employer should be inspecting the machinery you use frequently to make sure it is safe for you to use.
  • Failing to maintain a safe working environment
    If the space you work in is cluttered with no clear paths set out, it is more likely that employees will suffer slips, trips or falls. Your employer should be making sure that there are no obstacles blocking your way while you work.
  • Failing to provide proper training
    Poor manual handling techniques are one of the leading causes of work-related back injuries. Without proper training, lifting and moving heavy goods over time can lead to musculoskeletal disorders like repetitive strain injury.

Putting your evidence together

Evidence is what strengthens an injury claim. So if you choose to make a claim after suffering a back injury at work, your evidence could be the reason you succeed.

Depending on how you sustained your back injury, your evidence could include:

  • A statement from you, explaining the impact your injury has had
  • CCTV footage of the accident, if available
  • The report in your work accident book
  • Witness statements from colleagues
  • Your medical records after getting treatment

You shouldn’t worry too much if you’re unable to find all of this information straight away. Your solicitor will help you gather the main bulk of evidence to support your claim. But having some of this detail ready beforehand will only increase your chances of success.

Seeking legal advice

If you’re not sure if you have a back injury claim, our friendly and understanding claims advisors can help you work this out. If you do have a claim, they can match you with one of our expert No Win No Fee solicitors.

Your solicitor will then be able to help you put forward the strongest case possible, giving you the best chance of securing the compensation you’re entitled to.

If your claim is successful, your compensation could contribute towards covering the cost of medical treatment like physiotherapy. It could also help to pay for any mobility aids or home adaptations you might need.

To get in touch with us, you can give us a call or request a callback. We also have an easy claims form on our website if you’d prefer to start your claim online.


Fill in our simple form and
get a call back at a time to suit you.

Or talk to our team on :

0808 256 2340

By submitting an enquiry to First4Lawyers you agree to the terms and conditions of service as outlined in our Privacy Policy.


It seems you are using an outdated browser.

This will impair your browsing experience around the web. Please visit one of the links below to update to a modern browser then re-open the site with the new browser.

Thank you


Can't find what you are looking for?

We are open as normal during the Coronavirus lockdown and are able to help with all your legal needs.

Call us free of charge

0800 567 7866

Request a Callback

Continue browsing