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Accidents at Work/ Manual Handling Injuries
Claiming For A Manual Handling Injury
Manual handling accidents often occur when someone tries to carry, lift, move, put down or hold an object with their hands. There are many different types of manual handling accidents that someone could suffer from, such as a repetitive strain injury. If you’ve suffered a manual handling accident, you could be able to make a claim for manual handling injury compensation.
Manual handling accidents are most likely to occur within the workplace. In fact, manual handling accidents are one of the most common accident types to occur in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive outlines in their 2018/2019 report that manual handling accounts for 20% of all non-fatal accidents within the Great Britain’s workplaces. They are most likely to occur within certain work environments, such as factories and warehouses.
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Manual Handling Accidents At Work
While manual handling accidents can happen in any environment or scenario, personal injury cases resulting from manual handling injuries are most likely to be related to conditions in the workplace. This is because personal injury cases are only valid if another person/an organisation’s negligence is to blame for your injuries.
If a manual handling accident happens in your home, it is likely that no one else is to blame for your injuries. However, within a work environment you may suffer a manual handling injury because your employer fails to uphold their duty of care towards your health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines how you and your employer can protect you from manual handling accidents in the workplace.
As stated, it is the responsibility of your employer to uphold their duty of care towards your health and safety. This includes providing you with the necessary tools to complete your job safely. If you work in a warehouse or another similar environment where your job role includes heavy and continuous lifting, you should be provided with tools to help you complete the job. Some of the Health and Safety measures that your employer should put in place to ensure your safety include:
- Transfer boards used to assist in moving an item from one thing to another – such as from a trolley to a shelf.
- Trolleys to help move an item that is too heavy to carry from point A to point B.
- Gloves to ensure that you don’t suffer lesions, blisters or splinters in your hands.
- Heavy work boots to ensure that your toes are not injured if you drop an item. These boots will normally have steel toe caps in them.
Furthermore, your employer should provide you with clear health and safety training that outlines how to safely complete your job role. This training should cover:
- The main risk factors associated with manual handling and how injuries can occur within this line of work.
- How to use mechanical aids, such as the aforementioned trolleys, to assist with manual handling.
- How to carry out manual handling safely, including how to perform the best practice manual handling techniques.
- The learner trying out the techniques/performing the job role as taught through the training, so that the teacher can identify any problems and help to fix them.
- Any systems or routines that are relevant to the worker’s tasks and environment.
If your employer has failed to provide you with any necessary equipment or training that is needed to complete your job role to a sufficient and safe standard, they are failing to uphold their duty of care towards you. If you have been injured as a result of this negligence, you could be able to file a manual handling injury claim.
You could be injured because of the poor behaviour of a colleague. If a colleague fails to follow the health and safety procedures or general training that has been outlined by your employer and you are injured as a result, you could be able to claim compensation. Similarly, if they make poor errors of judgement or ‘cut corners’ within their job role, resulting in you suffering an injury, you could make a claim for manual handling injury compensation.
Manual Handling Injury Types
There are many different possible manual handling injuries that you could experience. However, certain injuries are more commonly associated with manual handling accidents than others. For example:
- Back injuries – if you do not complete your manual handling tasks through the correct techniques, you could be injured as a result. Alternatively, you could suffer a back injury if you try to lift an item that is too heavy for you. You should always only lift what is comfortable for you to hold and carry. You should not lift beyond your strength.
- Repetitive strain injury – this injury can occur if you have been working within a manual handling role for a long time and have been using an improper technique to complete the job role.
- Cuts and lacerations – you could potentially suffer a cut or breakage of the skin if the box/item that you are carrying contains something that is sharp that has not been properly sealed.
- Hand injuries – you could suffer an injury to your hand if you have not been provided with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for your job role. You should not have to carry something that is excessively hot without the use of gloves that help to protect against heat. Similarly, you should not be asked to carry something that has excessively sharp edges. Furthermore, if an item is too heavy to carry, you could potentially suffer an injury when hastily placing it down, such as crushing your fingers when you drop the item.
- Slip, trip and fall injuries – this injury type is very common in all industries. You could suffer a slip, trip and fall injury due to a wire or another item that has dangerous been placed in a walkway. Furthermore, if you are asked to carry something that is too heavy for you, you could potentially slip while carrying it. Wires should always be taped to the floor and items that could cause a hazard should be stored on a shelf or another appliance above the ground.
- Hernias – if you suffer repeated strain on the stomach area due to your job, you could potentially suffer a hernia as a result. Most people who experience a hernia need to get surgery to solve the issue. Therefore, this type of injury can be quite painful and serious as it often means that you need to take time off from work to recovery from the surgery. Once again, you should not be asked to carry something that is too heavy for you because this could result in you suffering a hernia due to the continuous strain that is being placed on your core.
- Foot injuries – if you have not been provided with strong work boots, you could suffer a foot injury. This is most likely to occur if you drop something on your foot while not wearing work boots but it could also occur if you step on a hazard like broken glass that has not been cleaned up. Even if you are wearing work boots, you could be injured if the item that you drop is excessively heavy. Therefore, you should not be carrying an item like that. Instead, you should use a tool to assist you, such as a trolley. Foot injuries related to manual handling are normally broken or fractures bones.
If you’ve suffered any of the injuries mentioned above or another type of injury, due to manual handling accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be able to claim. In order to claim you will need to provide evidence that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligent behaviour. For example, you should take photographs of your injuries and the accident scene to highlight the problem/hazard that caused your accident.
Compensation For Manual Handling Injuries
There are many different types of injuries that you could suffer due to a manual handling accident. The amount of compensation that you are awarded is therefore unique to each case because each case is unique in itself. The amount of compensation that you are awarded will be determined by two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages refers to the physical and emotional damage caused by your injuries. In the simplest terms, it refers to compensation for pain and suffering. This type of compensation also covers any losses of amenity, aka a decrease in ability to function, that has arisen from the injuries sustained in an accident. Compensation will be awarded based upon the severity of these factors, understanding that the higher the severity of the injuries, the worse the pain/suffering and impact upon your life. To view estimates for personal injury types, visit our compensation calculator.
For example, if your manual handling accident caused you to suffer a moderate neck injury, you could be awarded anywhere between £10,670 – £33,080. If your manual handling accident caused you to suffer serious damage to both of your hands, you could be awarded anywhere between £47,550 – £72,150. General damage compensation can vary greatly from case to case. Therefore, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor directly to receive a more accurate notion of how much compensation you could be owed.
Special damages compensation refers to compensation that covers the financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of an accident or medical negligence. Special damages could help to reclaim a loss of income if you have been unable to work due to your injuries. Similarly, if you have had to pay to go a medical appointment or if you had to pay to travel to a medical appointment, you could be able to claim these medical costs back.
You should keep detailed records of any receipts or other documents which help to outline any relevant financial losses relating to your injuries. These can later be used during your personal injury case to try and determine how much dermabrasion injury compensation you are owed. Once again, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor directly to understand how much compensation you are likely to be owed.
Making Personal Injury Claims
With the exception of children, there is a three-year time limit on making a personal injury claim. This time limit begins from the date that the accident initially occurred. Therefore, you should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to assess your case.
If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation. First Personal Injury solicitors are available to assist you and ensure that you win the compensation that you deserve.
First Personal Injury work with both families and individuals across England and Wales, leading them on their legal journey and helping them claim compensation after an accident or injury.