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I've been disciplined for leaving work with an injury!?

(86 Posts)
trackerbars Wed 18-Oct-17 01:24:51

I'm fuming.

I don't know if I'm in the wrong though...

I work in a warehouse for canned soup and only went and dropped a packed box on my toe. I literally couldn't keep tears in and I'm not one to cry. I spoke to my manager who wanted to see it (fair enough) and I hadn't even looked at it at this point. It didn't look too bad. He said to take a break so I went on my break.

I put some ice on it and it started to swell, there was a bizarre lump on it and I couldn't wiggle it.

He said it's fine and just bruised hmm and apparently had "seen enough in his time to know" and that even if it is broken, I can still work but he'll put me on a part where I get to just stand there. I did it for 30 mins and it wasn't helping, I could bare weight with a shoe on as it hurt and I said I'm going to have to go and put it up.

He said if it's broken you'll get away with walking out in a huffy voice

I was so sure it was I wasn't even worried about what might happen.

I got it looked at and it wasn't! They even said when I went in "should we even bother with an x ray" because they were so sure and after joked about what my bones must be made out off. I was happy but slightly worried about my manager.

I returned to work after a week (I had a doctors note) and I had a warning (official) for leaving work unauthorised?

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

I hate my job so much. This is literally the only job I got after about 100 interviews sadsadsad

ems137 Wed 18-Oct-17 01:28:05

Don’t they provide safety shoes/boots?

I’ve had jobs before where they’ve been total arseholes about sickness and absence so you have my total synonyms

ems137 Wed 18-Oct-17 01:28:35

Sympathy not synonyms!!

HerRoyalNotness Wed 18-Oct-17 01:29:27

Do you have an HSE person? Check procedures, maybe you should have gone to them first. Recorded accident and then sought health care (as it wasn't life threatening). Check with HR to see why exactly it's unsthorised, and what normal procedure is. You could also write a letter in response and get it put in your file in rebuttal.

Pandoraphile Wed 18-Oct-17 01:33:53

A week off work for a non broken toe? Are you serious?

rankoutsider Wed 18-Oct-17 01:39:16

Soft tissue injury can often be more painful and debilitating than fractures

kindermog Wed 18-Oct-17 01:44:31

Did the trained First Aider (who they are legally required to have) attend? Was it reported in the Accident Book (another legal requirement)?

trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 01:48:41

OP they tend not to x-ray toes as the treatment is unaltered (RICE) if it's broken or not so nothing is gained by knowing.

Sorry you hate your job. flowers

BeachyKeen Wed 18-Oct-17 01:51:31

Wait...you took a week off , for a not broken toe?

relaxwe Wed 18-Oct-17 01:51:33

If that's how they treat there staff, I would seriously speak to an injury lawyer, probably get a nice payout.

Also if you are off work for seven days (calendar days including weekends) the company has to report the indecent to the health and safety executive. Called a Riddor, I bet they have not.

trackerbars Wed 18-Oct-17 01:52:36

It was my large toe and they did x ray as they were worried about how swollen my foot was near the toe and said it could have been one of the foot bones.

Yes, I did have a week off? hmm the swelling was horrific and I couldn't get a shoe on properly after the first day and was using crutches.

The trained first aider on shift was the supervisor? She was the one who said about putting ice on.

TroubledTribble28 Wed 18-Oct-17 01:53:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

GirlInASwirl Wed 18-Oct-17 01:57:57

Well Doctor's note always beats boss's diagnosis in my book.

Some bosses are brilliant with other people aren't they (no hint of sarcasm hehe)

Time taken to heal now; means less re-occurent pain in the future. You need your feet to work smile

Out2pasture Wed 18-Oct-17 02:05:43

are you allowed to work in a warehouse without steel toed boots??

trackerbars Wed 18-Oct-17 02:12:50

It's funny you say that about the steel capped boots. It's actually an advisable item but optional. My order hadn't come through for my updated uniform, but it didn't prevent me from working because technically it's an optional item that's only advisable hmm although the ladies get a choice of really ugly steel capped shoes.

So at the time, no, I wasn't wearing any. Probably my own fault but what can I do when my uniform wasn't through? I was wearing black timberlands though.

Cavender Wed 18-Oct-17 02:15:02

I’m very surprised that steel toe capped boots aren’t standard operating procedure in a warehouse?

Worth investing in your own pair if they aren’t provided.

safariboot Wed 18-Oct-17 02:15:36

The manager says he's seen enough in his time to know, and yet the warehouse is not required or providing suitable protective footwear? hmm.

Unfortunately if you want to keep your job, you'll just have to accept the warning, keep your head down, don't rock the boat, and buy your own steel-toe shoes.

trackerbars Wed 18-Oct-17 02:15:58

They are provided and part of uniform but come up as optional like the coats etc and although I had ordered them, they were not through.

Cavender Wed 18-Oct-17 02:16:45

Cross post.

Normal boots, even Timberlands are no comparison to steel toe caps. Who cares if they are ugly? They would have saved you a week of pain.

trackerbars Wed 18-Oct-17 02:17:53

You didn't read my post......

I have ordered them. They were not through. The boots are not ugly, I was just saying about the shoes hmm

safariboot Wed 18-Oct-17 02:18:20

(Some cross-posting going on. "advisable item but optional" sounds like they're just trying to wriggle out of paying for them to me. Though it does mean you can pick your own if you like. It can be hard to find a good fit for women.)

Ploppie4 Wed 18-Oct-17 02:23:51

Formal complaint to HR or boss about how manager expected you to stand on a foot you couldn’t put weight on while you desperately needed to raise/ice it.

CrackedEgg Wed 18-Oct-17 02:28:29

Employers have a duty of care to make sure their employees are working in a safe environment, and are working the correct safety clothing etc. If part of your regular job is to lift heavy items or to continously lift items throughout the day you should have had some training on how to lift correctly. You should also be provided with safety shoes so that dropped items will not injure your feet. If the company have not done this, then they are in breach of the Health and Safety Laws.
You have the right to seek medical attention if you have reasonable grounds to believe you may have done some significant damage. They cannot just refuse you medical attention if there is reasonable doubt over your foot and by what you are saying, there was a good chance you had broken a toe, or caused a hairline fracture....none of which would present immediately but over the course of a few hours would start to swell and stiffen, with bruising appearing after 24 hours.
You followed correct UK and EU employement laws by getting a doctors certificate. I assume you also contacted your line supervisor and notified him that you needed time off for a work related injury, that you were unable to put footwear on, therefore you were couldn't be classed as fit for work.

Now this is where the company has to be very very careful. You have grounds to appeal the disciplinary action. Your employee handbook will explain the procedure you need to follow. But here is something else that you can do that not many people are aware of.

You could tender your resignation, a letter stating that the injury was done at work, and that because you had already, and unfairly been issued with a disciplinary notice for unauthorised absence; you felt you had to return to work, even though you are still experiencing significant pain in your foot. You say that this disciplinary notice along with the company's attitude towards your injury has left you no choice but to hand in your resignation with immediate effect and to sue for CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL. This basically means they have made your working life intolerable and so difficult that you have no choice but to resign.

Now the caveats. To sue for constructive dismissal you need to have been in continuous employment with that company for 2 years.

If you haven't worked for them for that period of time, then you need to go and see CAB or ask to speak to an employment lawyer (most will give a free 20 mins consultation). Take along your employee handbook and your contract of employment. They will need to know if you have been supplied with safety equipment, training on lifting etc.

I would be very surprised if you didn't have this overturned on appeal. A conscientious and forward thinking company would automatically want any possible injury checked out. i suspect the aunthorised absence is for walking out on your shift to go to the hospital and not for the subsequent week taken off to recover.

Go to CAB or to a lawyer specialising in injuries (though watch it, they love pushing people into making unsucessful claims) or employment law.

Good luck!

MrsOverTheRoad Wed 18-Oct-17 02:39:07

I'd insist on boots OP or buy my own. Your ankles aren't protected in shoes!

Make them review that policy!

I couldn't work out of your toe was broken or not from your posts. Was it?

Justanothermama Wed 18-Oct-17 02:52:52

Did you tell them you were off sick and provide them Doctor's note?. Just asking because you didn't mention that you'd notified them. Sorry if that's an obvious question. Trying to ascertain why they'd consider it unauthorised absence

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