Manual Handling Accident Claim
Manual Handling happens in virtually all workplaces whether on a construction site, in a shop, office or warehouse.
Manual Handling occurs when someone uses physical force in one way or another to move an object. This can be by lifting, pushing, carrying, lowering or raising objects.
Any manual handling operation has a risk of causing injury, depending on size, shape and weight of the object that is being handled.
The overwhelming majority of times when a worker lifts something, no injury is suffered.
When do injuries occur?
Injuries tend to occur when the item is very heavy, or awkward to hold, or the worker has a history of back problems
The risk factors to consider do not just include weight. The heavier an item the greater the risk. As well as weight, the distance an item is carried, the level from which the item has to be picked up and the height to which it has to be lifted can be factors.
Any twisting of the body or lifting that involves the arms being stretched away from the body increases the risk, as does bending the spine. The pace at which the work is done can also have an effect. Injury is more likely to occur if you are in a rush.
What does the law say?
If by using a hoist or crane, the need for a worker to lift and carry a heavy box can be avoided, then it would be a breach of the regulations if the employer requires the worker to lift the box.
If manual handling cannot be avoided, then the risk can be reduced in many ways, such as providing mechanical assistance. It may be, for example, that a trolley can be provided to help an employee move items around the workplace. Handling the trolley is still manual handling but is less risky than expecting the employee to lift and carry the items.
The assessment of the risk needs to take in to account the strengths of the worker, whether they have any relevant medical history as well as the frequency of the manual handling operation.
When it comes to equipment, this must be suitable and properly and maintained. A defective wheel on a pallet truck or a warehouse floor with holes in it, may still cause injury.
The Health and Safety Executive publish guidance for employers to follow which include helpful information about the sort of weights that are generally safe to lift. The circumstances of every case need careful consideration as these are guidelines only.
Another common example where employers fail to assess the risk of injury is where employees are required to pull heavy cages. Often cages are overfilled, and the wheels can get damaged so that the cage cannot be pulled safely. Cages can topple over and fall on the worker.
In some cases, the employer should ensure that the right number of people are involved if it is unsafe to carry out the task with fewer people than are required.
In all cases, employees must be given proper training.
Employers and Employees Responsibility
The primary responsibility is with the employer as it is the employer who has the power to decide how the work should be done, and reduce the risk, where manual handling cannot be avoided, to the lowest level of risk possible.
The employer must introduce a safe method of working and make sure all employees are trained and understand the system and not turn a blind eye when workers fail to follow their training.
Employees should work according to the safe system of work and in accordance with the training. Employees should also report any issues that they experience or concerns about the work, so that working practices can be reconsidered. Employees should report to their employer any dangerous practices, near misses, and of course report any accidents or injuries.
Unfortunately, in our experience, there are huge pressures on employees from their managers to work fast and get the job done, often without giving thought to the risk of the difficulties that employees have reported about the work. For example, an employee who reports some pain after manual handling should be taken off that task and given other lighter duties. The employer should then look again at the task and consider changes to the method of work to ensure that injuries do not occur.
See an example of how Levenes’ serious injury claim solicitors were able to help a client who sustained injury as a result of manual handling.
Why choose Levenes?
We work diligently for our clients to help them put their lives back together and at the same time obtain the maximum compensation. With us on your side, you can expect:
- Over 100 years of combined experience – We have proven results; we are lawyers who fight for you with a record of success.
- Strong litigators – We are not afraid to take your case to court if we have to. We stand up for the rights of the injured and not for the rights of the big corporations.
- Empathy – We pride ourselves on our compassion and understanding and we are easy to talk to. We always put your interest first and we treat you as our family.
- A personal approach – Your case will be handled directly by one our partners with support from our team of lawyers.
- A tailor-made approach – Every client is treated individually and not as a number, to achieve the best possible result that you deserve.
- Clear communication – We talk to you in a down to earth way. We avoid legal jargon unless it cannot be avoided, and if so, we explain things clearly and simply.
- Maximum compensation – We have the courage to fight for what you are entitled to.
- Full attention – We have the resources to focus on every detail of the case and consider every angle. We do not spread ourselves too thinly – you deserve our full attention.
Claim for manual handling compensation
- Reporting any difficulties to your manager.
- Ensuring that a record of any incident is written down.
- Getting prompt medical attention when you are injured.
- Taking photos and video clips of the items lifted if you can, though this may not be allowed by the rules of your workplace.
- Obtaining the details of witnesses
How much compensation can be claimed?
There are many different types of personal injury and our lawyers are familiar with them.
In addition to compensation for pain and suffering, you can also receive compensation for loss of income due to an accident and for disadvantage in the labor market as a result of an accident.
All transport costs that you have incurred as a result of the accident, including travel to hospital, doctor, physiotherapy, private specialists and other expenses, can form part of your compensation.
We will advise you on what can be recovered and what evidence we will need. Our lawyers always strive to achieve the best possible result for our clients.