In January 2012, Jason Kelleher obtained employment with J & A Accessories Pty Ltd trading in Century Batteries. Mr Kelleher was required to deliver batteries to customers, including batteries weighing over 20 kilograms. He received no manual handling training, and no training or instruction about the appropriate way to get into, or out of, his delivery truck.
From January 2012 until August 2013, Mr Kelleher suffered intermittent back, buttock and leg pain in the course of his employment. On 21 August 2013, he further injured his spine at the L4/5 level when he exited from the cabin of his truck. He required a discectomy.
Mr Kelleher commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland against Century Batteries, in negligence and claimed damages.
Her Honour Ryan J found that Mr Kelleher received no on-the-job instruction or training about manual handling techniques of the batteries, some of which weighed 50 or 60 kgs, and no on-the-job instruction or training about entering or exiting the delivery truck assigned to him. Nor was he cautioned about the risks associated with those activities. Century Batteries was found negligent. 
Her Honour found in favour of Mr Kelleher and awarded damages in the total sum of $320,865.79, which took into account the pre-existing degenerative condition and previous back injuries: Kelleher v J & A Accessories Pty Ltd.
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This article first appeared in the CCH Australian Tort, Personal Injury, Health and Medical Law Tracker and is reproduced in full with permission from CCH, a division of Wolters Kluwer Australia: www.wolterskluwer.cch.com.au
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