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Satch9

Signed off by doctor due to employers duty of care

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Hi all,

 

I have just been signed off work for 6 weeks by my doctor due to slipping on a stair case that has had a water leaking onto it for the last 3 years.

 

This has been reported in various forms over the last 3 years as it is the only stair case to the plant area. It has been brought up in meetings on several occasions and through email to snr management.

I slipped on it last year but managed to stop serious injury through catching the hand rail, this was reported as a near miss through our councils accident procedure. I emailed my line manager stating the above and requested this to be sorted out as a H&S issue. Another Duty Manager slipped this year and scrapped his back and arm as he slipped down them. Again all reported and emailed.

 

My knee cap has popped out and gone back in leaving me with an acute sprain to the pattella tendon and possible MCL damage. I have been given crutches and told to keep my weight off it. I have a MRI booked in next few days.

 

My post is a Leisure Centre Duty Manager and my role is to facilitate the running of the centre by helping to lifeguard the pools (perform rescues if needed), help move gymnastics and trampoline equipment and set up, walk around and check cleaning standards and also be emergency controller in fire activations. Due to this being near impossible to do on crutches this is why my doctor signed me off as unfit for work.

 

With all of the above information (a lot but might save multiple postings lol) I am wanting to know the following.

 

Whilst I am off sick (full pay) would my Employer have any real reason for me not to continue my hobby of playing in my band if I was to be sat down when playing guitar (same as I am doing daily at home) and I am not in receipt of any monies in doing so?

 

May seem a simple question but I think due to me being injured as a result of there negligence I don't see why I should be penalised.

 

Many thanks in advance.

:-)

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An employee should not suffer a detriment from an employer for undertaking other activities whilst off sick, providing that those activities are not comparable to normal work. If your injury means that you cannot do your normal job beacause of damage to your leg, then there can be no problem with you doing other things which don't involve using your leg. Sitting down and playing the guitar is OK because you aren't doing an activity which involves using your legs, however if you were seen dancing on the tables, lugging heavy equipment around, or were walking a distance to get to a performance, then there would be grounds to query the extent of your immobility!

 

There may also be an issue if there was an opportunity for you to remain at work on light duties, and sitting down but you had refused as you had claimed you were bedridden due to the injury for example. There is no hard and fast rule, more an approach of common sense. A worker off sick from a production line with a bad back were to be seen working behind a bar for long periods might be questionable as the activities are similar, but if your job has to involve extensive movement of your leg, but the doctor has advised that light movement is OK, then you should be fine.

 

Is there likely to be a personal injury claim against your employer? Insurance companies tend to look a little more closely at exactly how 'disabled' a person is in assessing a claim. You also need to make sure that your employer has reported this incident under RIDDOR - anything involving an absence of 3 days or more and the agency responsible for H&S needs to know.


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Hello and welcome to CAG. We like polite people.

 

Are you looking to take the injury aspect of this any further? If you were, the HSE [Health and Safety Executive] would be a good place to start. Someone else on the forum did this and I believe they were helpful. Apart from anything else, you don't need to be in danger from the buildling once you're mended.

 

I don't know the answer about the band, but someone who does should be along later. Our guru types have day jobs and often seem to be busy elsewhere on Mondays, leaving you with people like me as the warm-up act :). Is the band your main query, or are you looking for comments on anything else from us?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Oops, how embarrassing! I didn't notice Sidewinder was hovering and there's me wittering on. Hopefully you're starting to get some answers.

 

Morning, SW.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi, thank you for the information.

 

All aspects such as it being reported to HSE have been followed. I work for the local council so that part has been followed. As for a injury claim I have not thought too much about that at the moment.

 

My main query was the ability to perform with the band this weekend without work being able to try and give me any negative recourse.

 

When I handed my fit note to my line manager and he saw that the doctor had signed it as not fit for work he only remarked that he thought I may have been able to work on reception.

I said that working on there is not possible with crutches and considering I ws requested to put together a risk assessment to prevent another member of staff working on reception with crutches it would be unfair to ask this.

Again this was only a brief and very informal discussion while I gave him the note.

 

I plan on speaking to my HR department this morning before speaking to my line manager so they can not say I have not been transparrent in my actions.

 

I'll let you know what has been said.

 

Thanks again. :-)

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Hi,

just spoke to my HR department and as I will not be undertaking any moving of the gear and I will not be getting paid and I will be sat down they are happy for me to play.

 

Result. :-)

 

 

Thanks again and no doubt I will see you on here again as I have a little issue that may be growing! Lol

 

cheers, :-)

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I would add that you should also report the industrial injury to the DWP. merely reporting the matter in the book at work doesn't suffice you need to report it directly to DWP.

 

 

The employer's liability seems pretty clear with an over abundance of notification of being told about the problem. Someone in your management needs a flea in the ear for not following up and getting it sorted.

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Hi,

 

I was recently signed off work due to slipping on some wet stairs at work (a leak on their for over 3 years, reported many times, 2 accidents prior)

 

I have been off work for 2 week after my doctor signed me off with a damaged right knee, just had MRI yesterday and is still painfull to put weight on it. I received the following today;

 

Advise from personnel and head of service requires you to return to your Doctor to gain a "Fit Note" on light duties. You will be given support on your return and not asked to undertake duties such as locking up or opening up, lifeguarding, manual work or walking around the building. You will be required to do desk based admin, answer telephones and PC work while given all the assistance you require to enable you to this. On your return you can undertake shifts between 9.00 and 5.00 to start with or return to shift hours if your domestic arrangements are affected. You will be* referred to occupational health in Blackburn if you do not produce a fit to work*certificate

 

does this seem right or does this come across as a threat?

 

Your views would be greatly received.

 

Cheers

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It is an employer's responsibility to enable staff to return to work if possible. Adjustments can be made to the working environment to enable an employee to return to work with the appropriate support in place. I can see why you are concerned, but I personally think your employer is being reasonable by offering appropriate "return to work" support.

 

With regards to the referral to OH - this is standard is large organisations. You would see a doctor who would assess you ability to return to work. The doctor would also possibly confer with your GP.

 

Hope this helps.

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Although I understand about them making adjustments to return to work I would think that would be part of the process when the doctor has put 'fit to work' and with what ever restrictions they nay feel are right but surly if in the doctors opinion you are 'not fit for work' this should be accepted until the note expires or the employee feels they are able to return.

 

Surly employers can not expect to demand notes be changed if and when they feel it suits them?

 

I spoke to ACAS and they have said I am under no obligation to do so and if my doctor as signed me off they gave to accept it until I wish to return.

 

Would this sort of action simply undermine the whole process of having a medical professional asses and state work abilities?

 

:-)

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Few questions...........

 

In your first post you mention that you may have sustained damage to your MCL and that you had been booked for an MRI scan. Has this scan happened and have you been given the results yet? Do you require any additional investigations or treatment?

 

How do you normally get to work? Are you reasonably able to get there by public transport or would it require someone else to take and collect you each day?

 

You also said you had previously been required to produce a risk assessment to show that it was not appropriate that a member of staff on crutches was to be working on reception - what has changed since you produced that risk assessment that it is now seen to be safe to be working there whilst on crutches?

 

I would consider these questions carefully before agreeing to go back to work especially if it is during the time your GP has you as not fit to work - it may be worth discussing this with the GP to see whether s/he feels that a light duties role would have them reconsider the length of time they signed the original fit note for.

 

Feebee_71

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Hi thanks for the response, I was to update today after speaking to my union and HR,

 

case stands at the moment that under no point when signed unfit by the doctor am I 'required' to go to the doctors and get this changed.

 

HR had not advised that I return only that they told my line mAnager that I hoped not to be off work for the 6 weeks and that I hope to return as soon as I feel I am able.

 

They are shocked that the email has been sent and do not agree with it. I have responded with all points stated and that I will return when 'I' feel ready.

 

This is just another example of bullying of employees to get them back to work before they should.

 

Let the saga continue.....Lol

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Glad to hear you have had some clarification from HR about their position and also their opinion on the email sent by your boss.

 

I would still consider some of those questions when the 6 weeks are up. I broke my elbow a couple of years ago and my manager wanted me back as soon as possible, occupational health were of the opinion that I wasn't fit to return while I couldn't drive as there was no-one else who could drive me to work and it would have taken almost 2 hours by public transport.

 

Good luck for your recovery and here's hoping that your boss leaves you to recover in peace.

 

Feebee_71

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Many thanks,

 

I think the email they have just received may just do so!

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