Unfortunately heavy lifting and manual handling accidents are one of the major causes of workplace accidents and injuries in the UK (along with trips and slips in the workplace). A compensation claim can be brought against your employers’ Insurers if your injury resulted even in part due to negligence on behalf of your employer or other work colleagues.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (which were amended in 2002) are designed to protect you, the employee, against injuries caused by Manual Handling at work. However it is worth noting that manual handling is not just relating to lifting and carrying but also relates to pushing, moving, pulling and lowering actions. Even holding or restraining an object (or another person or animal) that causes you injury can also be classed as a heavy lifting injury.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), more than a third of all accidents reported to them which have resulted in the injured person being absent through injury from work for more than 3 days are in fact related to manual handling and heavy lifting at work including transportation or supporting of loads manually. More than one million people every year in the UK suffer from musculoskeletal disorders also known as MSDs which are usually caused by their current or past work. In some cases pre existing MSDs are made worse by their current work or past jobs.
It is therefore no surprise that the most common kind of manual handling and heavy lifting injury sustained by people at work is a back injury. However arms and feet are also quite common injuries too. Other injuries include cuts, tendon damage, muscle damage, heart problems and fractures.
Every year around 3,500 people will be absent from work for more than 3 days due to injuries sustained whilst lifting or dealing with manual handling work. Even more worrying is the fact that around 50 people a year are killed and around 1,500 suffer major injury life debilitating accidents in this line of work.
Which places of work are most at risk for heavy lifting and manual handling injuries?
The most common places of work where Manual handling injuries and heavy lifting injuries occur are offices, shops, factories, hospitals, banks, farms, building sites, warehouses, laboratories, courier or delivery driver, supermarkets.
Can I make a Claim for compensation for heavy lifting / manual handling injury?
Yes you can if it is found that your employers did not undertake regular risk assessments, ensure adequate training and supervision was provided or imposed dangerous heavy lifting work on employees if they were found not fit for the job or were already struggling with a previous injury.
Employment regulations require your employers to ensure you are kept safe and secure throughout your working day, so far as is reasonably practicable given the job description and if the job does include an element of risk then they need to reduce the risk of injury by taking the necessary Health & Safety requirements so you do not injury yourself.
Protective clothing and equipment should be provided such as adequate safety gloves or lifting equipment suitable for the job. Even adequate breaks away from heaving lifting throughout the course of the day all goes to prevent an injury from a heavy lifting movement, especially if this is of a repetitive nature.
It is worth noting that Employers and employees are both responsible for health and safety in the workplace. Employees should ensure that they notify their employer of any dangerous manual handling practices that occur in the workplace, use the safety equipment provided for all heavy lifting movements, co-operate with them on all matters relating to Health & Safety
Guidelines for safe heavy lifting includes:
• Follow all Health & Safety Guidelines provided by your employer before the lift
• Getting a good hold of the item
• Bend knees if required but never bend your back
• Avoid twisting back or holding posture in awkward position
• Keep the load close to your waist and close to body
• Adopt a stable body position and foot posture – no awkward movements
• Wear loose clothing and appropriate non slip footwear or safety cap footwear
• Maintain an upright straight posture including shoulders & keep head up
• Move smoothly and carefully, no jerking or sudden movements
• Rest when required and reposition if necessary
• Never lift or handle more than can be easily managed
• Ask for assistance if you need it, don’t try to do the lift on your own if possible.
If you are injured at work through lifting a heavy object through no fault of your own, you may be able to make a manual handling compensation claim.
How can Johnson Law Solicitors help me with my claim for an injury relating to heavy lifting or manual handling injury?
Here at Johnson Law Solicitors we understand that pursuing a claim for heavy lifting or manual handling injuries against our employers’ Insurers can appear to be very stressful. We offer friendly expert advice and will deal with your current or former employer’s Insurers on your behalf.
We want to make your claim for compensation as stress free as possible. You can be confident that we will seek to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
Johnson Law Solicitors will take into account not only your heavy lifting injuries but also advise you on your entitlement to Industrial Injuries Benefits and other Disability Benefits payable by the Department for Work and Pensions as well as any Community or Social Care Needs. We will also seek to recover your loss and future loss of earnings, medical assistance, future rehabilitation costs etc.
Johnson Law Solicitors have over 50 years personal injury experience dealing with workplace accidents. We have dealt with thousands of satisfied clients for whom we have pursued successful heavy lifting and manual handling injury claims against their employers’ insurers.
Call us for free legal advice and help on 0800 130 0699 today or complete our online claim for.
Get the right compensation you are entitled to and deserve.