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Physical work not in my contract

  • 25-03-2023 7:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,825 ✭✭✭

    My contract stated that I would be doing admin work, however last week a supervisor had me lifting heavy boxes.

    I have sciatica and after lifting the boxes my back was quite painful, I didnt disclose my bad back as my contract only states I would be doing admin work and I didnt realise physical work was a possibility

    Could I be disciplined or fired if I refuse to do physical work?



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,176 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    In what context were you asked to lift heavy boxes? Moving boxes of files or other admin content? An office move? Is it an occasional occurrence or is it likely to be a regular part of your day? It would not be unusual to expect staff to lift a few boxes in the case of an office move or tidy up, especially if the manager was not aware of your condition.

    In terms of disclosure and discipline, it depends a lot on whether you were asked to disclose such a condition, whether you were economical with the truth or whether you liked. If you were asked and you blatantly lied then yes it could be an issue.

    Is it possible you are just over thinking this? Perhaps it's just a case of telling your manager about your condition and they just need to ask some else to move the boxes once in the year or something like that.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Did you do a manual handling course?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭crusd

    If you are engaged in work that may require manual handling there are limits. If you are male carry boxes no more than 25kg, female 16kg. There should also be risk assessments completed and manual handling training if these type of tasks are part of regular duties. If your employer has no risk assessment and has not offered manual handling training you should not expect any consequences from not performing such tasks. Would be different if you were a block layer or similar in which such types of tasks would be inherent in the job.

    If your employer has such assessments and training in place you would need to review your condition with occupational health who would recommend a work restriction. Again you should not receive any negative consequences from this as it’s an admin role where the vast majority of duties could be carried out.