A manual handling injury claim is a legal claim made by an individual who has suffered an injury due to lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling heavy objects or materials in the workplace. Manual handling injuries can include strains, sprains, back injuries, and other musculoskeletal disorders that can occur as a result of repeated or improper lifting and handling of heavy objects.
If an individual has suffered a manual handling injury at work, they may be eligible to make a compensation claim against their employer. To make a successful claim, the injured party will need to prove that their employer was negligent and failed to take reasonable steps to protect their health and safety in the workplace. This can include a lack of training, inadequate equipment, or failure to implement safe manual handling practices.
Suffering an injury as a result of a manual handling accident can significantly affect a person’s way of life, from living with chronic pain to having to take time off work and suffering the financial consequences of doing so. Many victims may also need ongoing care and medical treatment as a result of their injuries, requiring long-term adaptations to their homes and lifestyle.
At Major Trauma Group our member firms are passionate about the benefits of prompt rehabilitation treatment to better a victim’s chances of making a full recovery following a traumatic injury. Our panel of lawyers can effectively negotiate with insurers to advocate for specialist care and rehabilitation for clients, alongside any financial compensation, to ensure injuries are appropriately treated and taken care of for the foreseeable future.
Your employer’s responsibility regarding manual handling safety
Employers have a duty of care to ensure their employees are working in a safe environment. Following the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers must attempt to reduce the risk of injury arising.
Employers must conduct a thorough risk assessment of all manual handling tasks carried out by their employees. This involves identifying the risks associated with the task, determining whether the task can be avoided or reduced, and implementing appropriate control measures.
Additionally, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) outline the responsibilities of employers and employees in relation to manual handling activities and provide guidance on how to carry out manual handling tasks safely.
Some of the key requirements of the MHOR include:
- Avoiding manual handling activities wherever possible.
- Conducting a risk assessment of manual handling tasks to identify any hazards and implement appropriate control measures.
- Providing adequate training and instruction to employees on how to carry out manual handling tasks safely.
- Providing suitable equipment and tools to assist with manual handling tasks.
- Ensuring that manual handling tasks are carried out by competent employees.
- Monitoring and reviewing manual handling activities to ensure that they remain safe.
- Taking into consideration any temporary changes the employer is made aware of (eg an employee who advises they are pregnant, or post-surgery needs to be on light duties for a period of time).
- The nature and dimensions of the item being moved – you can have a heavy small item or a very light large item, or it could be animate body that is likely to wriggle or a dangerous product which if dropped could cause other issues.
If you are an injured employee who feels their employer has breached their duty of care towards you, then please get in touch with Major Trauma Group to discuss how we can assist you with your compensation claim.
Some examples of manual handling injuries
Lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling heavy objects or materials in the workplace are some common causes of manual handling injuries. Injuries caused by manual handling can range from mild to severe and can affect various parts of the body. Listed below are some common examples of manual handling injuries:
- Musculoskeletal disorders: Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries or disorders that affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and other soft tissues. These types of injuries can be caused by repetitive manual handling tasks or by working in awkward postures for prolonged periods. Musculoskeletal disorders include:
- Sprains and strains: These injuries are caused by the overstretching or tearing of muscles, tendons, or ligaments, and can occur when lifting heavy loads or twisting the body.
- Back injuries: This is the most common type of manual handling injury, which can range from mild strains to serious disc injuries. Back injuries can be caused by lifting heavy loads, twisting, bending, or awkward postures.
- Fractures: Fractures or broken bones can occur when heavy objects fall on a person or when they fall while carrying a load.
- Crush injuries: These injuries can occur when part of the body gets trapped between heavy objects or equipment.
- Hernias: A hernia can occur when a muscle or tissue is forced through a weak spot, such as the abdominal wall, and can be caused by heavy lifting.
Manual handling injuries can have a significant impact on an individual’s health and well-being and may require medical treatment, rehabilitation, and time off work to recover.
Evidencing your manual handling injury compensation claim
If you have suffered an injury at work and are looking to make a manual handling injury compensation claim, then there are several things you can do to improve the chances of your claim being successful.
You should ensure that your accident was appropriately logged in the workplace accident report book and disclosed to the relevant individual, such as a manager or health and safety representative.
It is also helpful to gather any witness statements and CCTV footage of the accident occurring, as they can be helpful to prove the circumstances surrounding the accident and the reason why it occurred in the first place. Where the injury is severe (and certainly where there has been near fatal or fatal consequences) then the Employer should notify the Health and Safety executive within a specified period of time.
Keep hold of any medical reports detailing the extent of your injuries, as well as receipts for any payments you have made concerning your injury (such as medical bills or travel expenses), as these costs can be recovered at a later date if your personal injury claim is successful.
Why should you make a manual handling injury compensation claim?
Suffering a manual handling injury can have serious consequences for the injured person, both physically and mentally. Severe injuries can result in prolonged pain and reduced capabilities, meaning the victim’s way of life will drastically change.
Typically, it would be assumed that making a manual handling injury compensation claim is primarily about the financial settlement one may receive. However, our panel of personal injury solicitors advocate for private, specialist rehabilitation treatment and medical care for our claimants.
Many claimants who suffer injuries as a result of manual handling accidents will need prolonged care for their injuries. This could take place in the form of physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation treatment. Our lawyers can negotiate rehabilitation treatment for our clients whilst also trying to reach an agreement regarding interim payments before the overall settlement is finalised.
Making a claim with Major Trauma Group for your manual handling injury will also mean that pressure is reduced on the NHS as your care will be overseen by a private healthcare provider. This will also ensure that you receive prompt specialist care, with no waiting lists, maximising your chance of making a full recovery.
To find out more about the benefits of making a personal injury claim with the Major Trauma Group, please see our recent article.
How long do you have to make a claim?
Generally, you have three years from the date of an accident to make a claim for compensation. However, the time limits can vary depending on certain circumstances, such as if a child was injured or the person injured is mentally incapacitated. Please get in touch today if you have any queries surrounding the time limit regulations and how we may be able to assist you.
How can Major Trauma Group assist?
Our member firms are highly experienced in personal injury cases and offer their services on a no win no fee agreement, meaning that if your compensation claim is unsuccessful then you will not need to pay us anything.
Our awareness of how serious injuries can impact daily life drives us to tirelessly strive for the best possible outcome for our clients, ultimately increasing their likelihood of a full recovery.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team at MTG to find out how we can assist you in your manual handling injury compensation claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can contact us at 0330 311 2578, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, we have a live chat feature on our website.