Manual handling injuries are among the most common type of accidents in the workplace, with many jobs which require regular lifting of heavy objects it’s not surprising so many employees are injured in manual handling accidents. Cleversons solicitors has a team of expert personal injury solicitors who can assist you in securing the compensation you deserve for your accident, call them now on 0800 368 5102 or complete an online enquiry form.

Manual handling injuries at work

Injuries suffered in a manual handling accident at work can often be extremely painful and cause long term damage. The pain can often lead to you taking time off work, which can also cause money worries for you and your family.

The majority of manual handling accidents will cause back injuries but they can also result in other types of injuries such as:

  • Muscle strains
  • Sprains
  • Fractures

If your job requires you to do a lot of manual handling then you could also be at risk of suffering from a repetitive strain injury, or long term neck pain. According to the HSE, handling, lifting, and carrying caused 19% of all non-fatal injuries to employees in the UK during 2019/20.

Manual handling injuries often occur due to incorrect handling techniques or trying to lift something that is too heavy for you. However even if you lift lots of small loads, over a sustained period of time but without the correct posture or technique you could find yourself in severe pain.

Who is responsible for manual handling accidents?

If your job role requires you to do manual handling, lifting, or carrying your employer has a duty to ensure it is done in a safe manner. Employers have a legal obligation to complete a risk assessment of the dangers that the task poses to employees, this is set out in the manual handling operations regulations 1992.

Employers should provide all employees with suitable manual handling training on the use of equipment and correct handling techniques. The risk assessment should be used to alleviate any risk posed to employees and should include:

  • Could machinery be used to move the object?
  • How many people are needed to lift the load?
  • What is the best manual handling technique?

If you were not given the appropriate training on manual handling by your employer or they failed to carry out a risk assessment then your employer could be held accountable for your injury.

Who is most at risk of manual handling injuries?

While some job roles may not require much manual handling other professions involve considerable amounts which means that workers in those fields are more likely to suffer a manual handling injury than others. Some of the most at risk workers include:

  • Care workers

The care industry employees over 2 million people in the UK alone who do an amazing job at helping our aging nation stay healthy and provide the much needed care for those who struggle with day to day tasks. In many cases, carers will be required to lift people out of bed into wheelchairs or help people who have fallen over to get back up. Having to lift and manoeuvre people can cause a wide range of injuries to carers.

  • Factory workers

Transporting goods around factories means that many factory workers are at an increased risk of manual handling injuries with the size and weight of objects changing regularly. Although machinery and vehicles are used in many of these factories’ employees are required to load them frequently often leading to repetitive strain injuries.

  • Retail workers

Working in retail requires workers to have to lift significant loads as part of their jobs. Although there is often equipment such as roll cages which can help workers move goods they can also become heavy and injuries are not uncommon for workers trying to move them.

  • Warehouse workers

Warehouse workers are particularly at risk of being injured in a manual handling injury. They often work in a large environment which is designed to store objects, often large ones and although machinery and vehicles are often used employees can still be required to carry out regular lifting.

  • Construction workers

The construction industry covers a large range of job roles, each with varying levels of manual handling involved. From machinery and heavy equipment to rubble and building materials, it’s hardly surprising how many employees are injured in manual handling injuries.

What safety measures should employers have for manual handling?

First introduced in 1992 the Manual Handling Operations Regulations require all employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from the manual handling of loads.  Employers should always conduct a risk assessment to identify possible hazards which should consider factors including:

  • Training requirements on the use of equipment
  • Can manual handling be avoided completely?
  • Training on manual handling techniques for lifting
  • Can any assistive machinery be used to help lift heavy loads?
  • Can large loads be split down
  • How many people are needed to lift the item?
  • Can changes be made to the environment to reduce risks?

Chim Ntata

Personal injury solicitor

Chim is an experienced personal injury solicitor who has helped hundreds of clients get the care and compensation they deserve.

Making a manual handling injury claim

If you’ve been injured in a manual handling accident making a claim against your employer can seem very daunting but in reality your employer will have an insurance policy which will cover them for accidents in the workplace. The team of personal injury solicitors at Cleversons can help you every step of the way, they can take the stress away from the claims process and provide access to medical professionals to aid your recovery.

As long as your accident at work took place in the last three years and your employer failed in one of the areas mentioned above you could make a successful claim for compensation. Speak to a solicitor today for a free initial consultation, call us on 0800 368 5102 or complete an online enquiry form.

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