How to Claim Compensation for Manual Handling Injuries

Author:
Gulderen Salih
Associate Chartered Legal Executive
Date:
21/04/2021

If you suffer a manual handling injury at work and believe it’s because your employer didn’t do enough to keep you safe, contact our expert Personal Injury Solicitors.

We offer a free claims assessment, so we can discuss your manual handling injuries and whether you have a good chance of claiming compensation. If we can take on your claim, we’ll begin a thorough investigation into what caused your injuries and how they’ve affected your life.

We’ll also work out if you need specialist care, support and rehabilitation, such as osteopathic and chiropractic treatment, and how much this will cost. If your employer accepts responsibility for your accident at work, we can push for them to cover these treatment costs as part of your final settlement.

We can take care of arranging medical appointments and negotiating with the employer you hold responsible, so you can focus solely on your recovery.

Get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment and we’ll be happy to speak with you. We’re specialists in manual handling injuries and can process your claim with complete trust and transparency. Ask us if we can help you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Why Claim Compensation?

For most people, claiming compensation for a lifting injury isn’t about the money. Instead, it can be the best way to access the care, support and rehabilitation you need to recover if you sustain an injury at work that wasn’t your fault.

Claiming compensation can also mean you don’t have to worry about taking time off work in order to recover from your injuries.

You may also be able to claim to make up for future lost income if your accident at work means you can’t work in that role or industry again.

Finally, claiming compensation for manual handling injuries in the workplace is your legal right, and your employer should have Employers' Liability Insurance in place to deal with these claims.

What are Manual Handling Injuries?

A manual handling injury is an affliction sustained while completing an activity that requires the use of force, such as lifting, pulling, pushing or holding.

Typical injuries are usually musculoskeletal and include:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Crush injuries
  • Neck, shoulder and back injuries

According to the Health and Safety Executive, there were over 152,000 reported cases of work related musculoskeletal problems in the UK during 2019-2020 alone - a measure of just how big a problem this is and the need for employers to address manual handling injuries effectively.

You can also develop a hernia from a lifting injury.

Due to the nature of manual handling injuries, they are particularly common in occupations that regularly involve manual work, such as:

  • Construction workers
  • Baggage handlers
  • Couriers
  • Care workers
  • Factory workers
  • Warehouse workers

However, you can claim compensation for manual handling injuries even if you were injured while lifting, moving or handling a light load, so no jobs are excluded, even office roles.

What are Manual Handling Regulations?

Your employer has a duty to take steps to reduce the chances of you suffering a manual handling injury at work, so they must:

  • Assess the type of lifting activity you’re required to do as part of your job
  • Consider your suitability to carry out this task - if the item is deemed too heavy to lift on your own or is too awkward a shape, then your employer must think of another way of lifting it, such as using a forklift or pump truck, or assigning another colleague to help you with the task
  • Make sure that any equipment used to assist manual handling operations is adequately maintained and is in a safe condition
  • Provide adequate training - you should have been trained to know when something is too heavy to lift and needs mechanical help such as a forklift truck or crane. If that’s the case, you should also be provided with training to operate this equipment safely
  • Provide training on what you should do if you sustain an injury
  • Assess the hazards of manual handling operations that can’t be avoided

If you already have a back or neck condition or you return to work after illness or injury, your employer has a duty to carry out a new risk assessment and consider whether it’s safe for you to continue with lifting activity.

In short, manual handling regulations put the onus on your employer to:

  • Protect you
  • Make sure your workplace is safe as possible
  • Reduce the number of injuries in the workplace
  • Minimise the need for any manual handling that may cause injury, as much as possible

If your employer has failed to take the steps needed to keep you safe at work, and you’ve suffered a manual handling injury as a result, you may have grounds to claim compensation.

What Should You Do after a Manual Handling Injury?

If you suffer any manual handling injuries, you must make sure the time and details of your accident at work are correctly recorded in your employer’s accident report book. If your employer will not record this or let you see it, you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

You should also get medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible.

How Much Compensation Can I Get for Manual Handling Injuries?

There are two elements to compensation – Special Damages and General Damages. Special Damages are usually the biggest part of a claim, and reflect financial factors such as your loss of earnings, so this will vary considerably for each person.

However, there are guidelines from the Judicial College outlining how much you could expect to receive in general damages, which reflect the injury itself.

For a neck injury at work where a full recovery can be expected in three months, you could be awarded up to £2,300. But for the most severe neck injury, such as dislocation that means you need spinal fusion, you could receive up to £36,120.

Similarly, if you sustain a back injury at work and make a full recovery in three months, you can expect up to £2,300, but for a back injury with muscle or ligament disturbance, slipped disc or acceleration of a pre-existing condition by more than five years, your General Damages could be worth up to £26,500.

We should stress that these are just guidelines and any compensation settlement will be valued to reflect your specific injuries and circumstances.

For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors

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