If you become injured from lifting, carrying, or moving objects at work, you may be owed
compensation for injuries. Manual handling injuries are unfortunately common in the workplace.

Ross Aldridge Solicitors has a full team of advisors based in Cheltenham ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your manual handling injury and the claims process.

Our staff can help with every step of the process through to a successful settlement.

What is a manual handling claim?

A manual handling claim is generally made after an injury from lifting heavy objects. Injuries can be the result of insufficient training, and a lack of clear safety guidelines in place.

If it is found that a manual handling injury was avoidable had better training been provided to employees, a compensation claim can be made.

Manual handling in the workplace

Manual handling tasks are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries in the UK. Manual handling at work can result in serious injuries and illnesses. Employers have a duty to protect workers from this risk by providing suitable manual handling equipment and advice on how to use it safely.

Employers should carry out an assessment of the manual handling tasks and hazards within the workplace. In the case where a manual handling injury compensation claim is made, claimants are obliged to provide evidential criteria, illustrating their accident and the liability on their employer.

Ross Alrdridhe Solicitors can help carry the burden of proof in a manual handling claim through thorough assessment.

How do manual handling injuries happen in the workplace?

Manual handling tasks occur in a wide range of environments and situations.

Some manual handling tasks are routine and part of a repetitive sequence, while other manual handling tasks are characterised by irregular or non-routine sequences.

Manual handling tasks also vary in terms of their duration, how often they occur, the number and type of tools used, the speed at which they are performed, and the weight that is being lifted.

Each of these circumstances can result in a situation where employees are at risk of injury.

Common instances where compensations claims are awarded include;

  • Working on wet, icy, or slippery surfaces causing you to lose your balance.
  • Being provided with faulty or inappropriate working equipment.
  • Carrying out manual handling tasks while having suffered previous injuries.
  • Working at a height.
  • Not getting help from someone else to move an object.

Common manual handling claims

According to the Health and Safety Executive, manual handling is the second largest cause of workplace injury, accounting for 18% of all recorded incidents. Common manual handling claims include back injuries and cartilage tears. These claims are backed up when there is proof of negligence on the part of an employer.

Due to their heavy workloads, factory workers and construction workers are at a particularly high risk of suffering injuries from manual handling.

In workplaces like construction sites, a high level of safety regulation must be maintained. In circumstances where these standards are not met, manual handling risks arise.

Common injuries that can arise due to manual handling

The 3 most common types of manual handling injuries include back strain, cuts and bruises, and cartilage tears.

A range of musculoskeletal injuries, nerve damage, and permanent scarring are also common results of a manual handling incident.

Many people disregard smaller or less obvious injuries. However, it is important to report any instance of an accident or injury, despite how minor it may be.

How do manual handling injuries occur?

Injuries can occur in the workplace due to a lack of training, unsafe conditions and wet surfaces.

If you don’t know the best way to lift something then it’s likely that you will have an accident. If it’s too heavy for you or if something else is in the way then again it’s quite possible that an accident could occur.

Employer negligence can result in a manual handling injury. In the case where an employer has failed to provide suitable safety procedures and guidelines, employees are at risk of injury.

Who is at fault for a manual handling injury at work?

The Manual Handling Accidents at Work Regulations came into force in 1992 and set out the responsibilities of employers and their employees to ensure that manual handling activities are carried out safely. The regulations apply to all UK employers who employ people to perform manual handling activities, which include lifting and carrying loads.

Anyone involved in a manual handling accident at work should be aware of their rights under these regulations. The following are those who can be held responsible for a manual handling injury:

  • Employer – It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the equipment being used is appropriate for the job and suitable for the employee’s needs, including ensuring that workers are trained to appropriately use equipment and the correct form to adapt when carrying out manual handling tasks.
  • Employee – Workers must know what they can carry safely according to their own abilities as well as their employer’s instructions on how heavy objects should be moved safely.

Manual handling claim compensation

The amount of compensation you can receive from a manual handling injury compensation claim depends on the severity of your injury, whether or not you have a pre-existing condition and how the injury affects your ability to work and earn an income.

Every case is reviewed on an individual basis and different circumstances warrant different levels of compensation. Claims for minor back injuries can reach up to £12,000 and major life-altering injuries can reach anywhere between £30,000 and £160,000. In addition to this additional claims can be made for:

  • Loss of earnings and future earnings
  • Medical damages and future/ongoing medical costs
  • Home adaptations
  • Medical equipment
  • Transport expenses
  • Pain and suffering

How to prevent a manual handling injury

Before employers begin regulating manual handling tasks, they should consider providing mechanical or automotive assistance, such as a forklift or hoist, whenever possible.

If this is not feasible, consider modifying the task, the workload, or the working environment.

If manual handling is the sole avenue, employers can reduce the risks of manual handling by doing the following:

  • Reduce the weight of the load and make it easier to grasp
  • Divide large loads into smaller dispersed loads
  • Minimise carrying distances, and contorting movements.
  • Ensure the person carrying out a task is properly trained to lift as safely as possible.
  • Put your feet around the load and your body on top of it.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Maintain the load within reach of your body.
  • Confirm that you have enough grip on the floor to lean toward or away from the object.
  • Make a path for yourself that is free of obstacles.
  • Understand your limitations. Seek assistance before lifting if the object is too uncomfortable to grip correctly or too heavy.

Make a manual handling injury claim today

Manual handling claims are serious, and we have to make sure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.

We understand how frustrating it is when you don’t receive the compensation that you deserve.

If any of what we have detailed has happened to you, we are here to help.

Ross Aldridge personal injury solicitors are expert advisors on manual handling injury claims. If you want to make a claim for a manual handling injury in Cheltenham or outside areas, contact us today.

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