IT WAS just another day at work for Craig Whitmore when he suffered a workplace injury that will see him suffer pain for the rest of his life.

Mr Whitmore, 46, of Toowoomba had worked for the national transport company for six years, and in that time it had been standard practice to climb over pallets stacked higher than regulations.

It was in 2015 when Mr Whitmore slipped on a collapsed carton and twisted his back at the workplace.

"It's a permanent injury - it's never going to get better," the father-of-two said.

After various medical assessments, Mr Whitmore was diagnosed with lower lumbar scoliosis but, having never suffered issues with his back before, has rejected that.

He is currently embroiled in an ongoing legal battle against his former employer, arguing it was not a "pre-existing condition" but a workplace injury.

"I can't seem to do any kind of activity," Mr Whitmore said.

"I don't believe it is a pre-existing condition because I had done that job for six years and not once did I have any issues with my back."

Mr Whitmore has engaged Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to argue his claim with his former employer.

Craig Whitmore, 46, suffered a serious back injury in a workplace incident in 2015.
Craig Whitmore, 46, suffered a serious back injury in a workplace incident in 2015. Contributed

The workplace injury has forced Mr Whitmore into another job working longer hours to earn the same as at his former workplace.

Beyond the financial impact, Mr Whitmore said the injury has taken its toll on his personal and day-to-day life.

"I can't walk long distances now because of my back," he said.

"It's a permanent injury. It's very mentally stressing, going from being such a physical person to absolutely nothing."

Mr Whitmore shared his story as part of National Safe Work month, an initiative supported by Maurice Blackburn.

MB compensation lawyer and Toowoomba office leader Allison Grimley said Safe Work Australia statistics showed 70,000 workers were injured at the workplace in 2017.

"The financial cost of workplace death and injury in Queensland runs into the billions of dollars every year - but it's the personal cost to individuals like Craig that is most distressing," she said.

"Workplace safety cannot be ignored, and tough new penalties are now in place where a worker is killed on the job to ensure individual employers and businesses take their responsibilities seriously."

Mr Whitmore is continuing his compensation claim against his former employer with the matter due for mediation in December.

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