Manual Handling Claims

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    Manual Hnadling Claims

    When it comes to workplace injuries, manual handling mishaps are unfortunately all too common accidents in the workplace. Unnecessary manual handling can lead to debilitating injuries, lost wages, and even permanent disability. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of manual handling, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

    Manual handling compensation claim

    In the workplace, your employer has a legal duty under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations to provide a safe working environment for all employees. That means if you have to carry out manual handling tasks as part of your role, your employer legally has to carry out a risk assessment as well as provide you with proper training, ergonomic equipment, and guidelines for safe manual handling.

    Failing to meet these obligations can mean your employer is liable for any injuries you’ve sustained as a result of inadequate precautions. You could also claim compensation if another employee caused your injuries, or if you were partly to blame for the accident.

    Suffering an injury due to manual handling can be incredibly challenging, both physically and emotionally. While the road to recovery might seem daunting, with the right information and steps, you can regain your strength and reclaim your life. So, if you’ve been injured while carrying out a manual handling at work, and you can prove your injuries were caused by someone else’s neglect, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

    To find out more about the manual handling claims process, or to begin a manual handling injury claim, call 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice. You’ll speak with a trained legal advisor who will listen to you, and if they believe you have a claim to pursue, they’ll partner you with specialist manual handling solicitors who will work with you to secure compensation on a no win no fee basis.

    What is manual handling?

    Manual handling means the movement of objects, goods, or loads using physical effort rather than relying on a machine. This can involve lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, or carrying items. While manual handling is a routine part of many jobs, improper techniques or overexertion can result in serious injuries.

    The risks of manual handling are real. If you don’t carry out manual handling adhering to health and safety guidelines, you could seriously injure yourself or others around you.

    What is an manual handling accident

    A manual handling accident is an unexpected incident that occurs when you’re lifting, carrying, or moving objects by hand. It’s that moment when something goes wrong, and your body feels the strain, causing discomfort or even injury. It’s like a sudden jolt that leaves you with pain and perhaps a sense of vulnerability. It’s the moment you realise your body has been pushed beyond its limits – whether it’s carrying a heavy box, maintaining an awkward posture, or simply overexertion. The result could be a strained back, aching muscles, or even more serious injuries.

    Why seek compensation for manual handling accidents

    A manual handling accident doesn’t just cause physical pain, it can take an emotional toll and cause severe disruption to your life and to the lives of your loved ones. So, if you’ve experienced a manual handling accident, seeking compensation is essentially about getting the support you need to recover fully. It’s not just about covering the immediate costs, lost wages, medical bills, etc, although those can certainly add up. It’s about recognising that your injury might have short-term and long-term effects on your overall well-being.

    Compensation can help cover the costs of medical treatment – from private doctor visits to physical therapy – which could be essential for your recovery. Additionally, seeking compensation can help address the impact on your ability to work. If your injury has caused you to miss work or has affected your ability to perform your job, compensation can provide you with the financial support you need during your recovery period.

    Beyond the financial aspects, seeking compensation also holds those responsible accountable. By seeking compensation, you’re contributing to a safer work environment for yourself and your colleagues.

    Common causes of manual handling accidents

    While it might seem a bit like shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted, understanding what can cause a manual handling accident is crucial for preventing future incidents.

    • Poor lifting techniques: Using incorrect lifting techniques, such as bending at the waist instead of the knees, can put excessive strain on your back and lead to injuries.

    • Overexertion: Trying to lift or move objects that are too heavy for your physical capabilities can lead to overexertion and increase the risk of accidents.

    • Awkward postures: Carrying objects in awkward positions, such as twisting your body while lifting, can strain muscles and increase the chances of injuries.

    • Inadequate training: Lack of proper training in safe manual handling practices can leave you unaware of the correct techniques, making accidents more likely.

    • Rushed movements: Hasty actions or attempting to move objects too quickly without proper planning can lead to accidents and injuries.

    • Poor grip or handling: Insufficient grip on objects or using improper handholds can cause items to slip, leading to accidents.

    • Unstable loads: Attempting to lift or move objects that are unbalanced or improperly packed can lead to shifts in weight, causing you to lose control and potentially get hurt.

    • Fatigue and lack of rest: Performing manual handling tasks while fatigued or without sufficient rest can compromise your body’s ability to handle the load safely.

    • Distractions: Being distracted while lifting or moving objects can lead to accidents, as your focus isn’t fully on the task at hand.

    • Inadequate communication: Working as part of a team without clear communication about movements and intentions can result in collisions or dropped objects.

    • Improper footwear: Wearing inappropriate footwear can affect your stability and grip, increasing the risk of accidents.

    • Hazardous work environment: Working in environments with poor lighting, slippery surfaces, or cluttered pathways can contribute to manual handling accidents.

    • Underestimating weight: Misjudging the weight of an object before lifting it can lead to unexpected strain and injuries.

    • Repetitive movements: Repeatedly performing the same manual handling tasks without adequate breaks can lead to cumulative strain and injuries over time.

    Types of manual handling injury typically sustained

    While there isn’t a definitive list of manual handling injuries, injuries can include:

    • Back injuries: Lifting heavy objects or using improper techniques can strain the muscles and ligaments in your back, leading to sprains, strains, and even herniated discs. These injuries can cause significant pain and limit your mobility.

    • Sprains and strains: Overexertion or sudden movements while handling objects can lead to sprained or strained muscles and ligaments. These injuries can affect various parts of your body, including the shoulders, neck, and limbs.

    • Muscle tears: Intense or sudden physical effort during manual handling tasks can cause muscle fibres to tear, resulting in pain, swelling, and limited movement.

    • Fractures: Dropping heavy objects or getting caught between items can result in bone fractures, which can vary in severity and require medical attention.

    • Dislocations: Trying to catch a falling object or sudden jerking movements can lead to joint dislocations, causing pain and requiring relocation by a medical professional.

    • Tendonitis: Repeatedly performing manual handling tasks can lead to inflammation and irritation of tendons, resulting in tendonitis. This can cause pain and restrict movement in affected areas.

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Engaging in repetitive hand and wrist movements, especially in tasks involving computers or machinery, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, characterised by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.

    • Hernias: Lifting heavy objects without proper technique can increase pressure on abdominal muscles and potentially lead to hernias, where organs push through weakened muscle areas.

    • Pinched nerves: Poor posture or awkward movements during manual handling tasks can lead to pinched nerves, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in affected areas.

    • Overexertion fatigue: Continuous manual handling without adequate rest can result in overexertion fatigue, causing overall body fatigue and reduced physical performance.

    • Lumbar strain: Lifting heavy objects while twisting or bending can strain the lower back muscles, resulting in lumbar strain and discomfort.

    • Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs): Frequent repetition of the same manual handling motions can lead to RSIs, such as tendonitis, which can cause persistent pain and limited mobility.

    • Soft tissue injuries: The stress of manual handling can lead to soft tissue injuries, such as contusions and bruises, which might seem minor but can still cause discomfort and affect your daily activities.

    • Neck injuries: Incorrect lifting techniques or sudden movements can strain the muscles and ligaments in your neck, leading to neck pain and reduced range of motion.

    • Shoulder injuries: Overhead lifting or carrying heavy loads can lead to shoulder injuries, including strains and rotator cuff injuries, causing pain and limiting arm movement.

    Please note, manual handling injuries can vary in severity, and seeking medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

    What are the symptoms of manual handling injuries?

    If you experience any of the below symptoms after a manual handling incident or while performing physical tasks, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help alleviate your symptoms and prevent further complications.

    • Pain and discomfort: One of the most common symptoms of manual handling injuries is pain. You might experience localised pain in the affected area, such as your back, neck, shoulders, or limbs. This pain can range from mild to severe and may worsen with movement.

    • Swelling: Inflammation and swelling around the injured area are common indicators of an injury. Swelling can cause discomfort and restrict your range of motion.

    • Stiffness: Manual handling injuries can lead to stiffness in the affected muscles or joints. This stiffness may make it challenging to move or perform everyday tasks.

    • Numbness and tingling: Some injuries, such as pinched nerves or repetitive strain injuries, can cause numbness and tingling sensations in the affected area. These sensations may radiate down your arms or legs.

    • Weakness: Muscular weakness is another potential symptom. You might find it difficult to perform tasks that were previously effortless due to reduced strength in the injured area.

    • Limited range of motion: An injury can limit your ability to move a joint or body part through its full range of motion. This restriction may be accompanied by pain or discomfort.

    • Bruising: Injuries resulting from manual handling accidents can sometimes lead to visible bruising in the affected area. Bruising occurs due to damage to blood vessels under the skin.

    • Fatigue: Experiencing increased fatigue or tiredness, especially in the injured area, is a sign that your body is working to recover from the injury.

    • Difficulty sleeping: Pain and discomfort from manual handling injuries can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.

    • Radiating pain: Some injuries, like herniated discs, can cause pain that radiates from the site of injury to other parts of your body. For example, a back injury might cause pain that travels down your leg.

    • Loss of strength: You may notice a decrease in your overall strength or the ability to grip objects firmly, particularly if the injury affects your hands or arms.

    • Altered sensation: Changes in sensation, such as a feeling of “pins and needles,” burning, or unusual sensations, could be indicative of nerve involvement.

    • Difficulty performing tasks: Manual handling injuries can hinder your ability to perform everyday tasks that involve lifting, carrying, or other physical activities.

    • Changes in posture: Pain or discomfort from an injury might cause you to alter your posture or movements to avoid aggravating the affected area.

    • Emotional impact: It’s important to recognise that manual handling injuries can also have emotional effects, such as increased stress, frustration, or anxiety due to the pain and limitations you’re experiencing.

    What are the legal requirements for manual handling in the workplace?

    Under the the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment and take reasonable steps to prevent harm to employees. This fundamental piece of legislation sets out the overarching framework for ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all employees in the workplace.

    Under the Act, employers are required to conduct thorough risk assessments to identify and evaluate potential hazards related to manual handling tasks. This includes assessing the weight of objects, frequency of handling, and the physical capabilities of employees.

    Once risks are identified, employers must implement appropriate control measures to minimise the risks associated with manual handling. This might involve providing lifting aids, training employees in proper lifting techniques, and ensuring the availability of ergonomic equipment.

    The Act also emphasises the importance of providing adequate training to employees engaged in manual handling tasks. This training should cover proper lifting techniques, the correct use of equipment, and how to recognise and report potential hazards.

    More importantly, the Act encourages employers to avoid manual handling tasks whenever possible and to reduce the need for such tasks through mechanisation or automation. This approach helps minimise the risk of injuries.

    Employers are also obligated to keep records of risk assessments, control measures, and employee training related to manual handling. These records contribute to transparency, accountability, and evidence of compliance.

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the regulatory authority responsible for enforcing the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The HSE has the authority to inspect workplaces, provide guidance, and take enforcement action if necessary to ensure compliance.

    So, while employers have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees, employees have the right to a safe workplace. Meaning, if you suffer an injury due to manual handling at work, you have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs.

    What are the Manual Handling Regulations?

    The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) are a set of health and safety regulations that control the manual handling of loads at work. They’re designed to protect you from injury caused by manual handling tasks, and are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

    The MHOR define manual handling as:

    “Any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force”.

    The load can be an object, person or animal.

    The MHOR place three main duties on employers:

    1. To avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable.
    2. To assess any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided.
    3. To reduce the risk of injury so far as is reasonably practicable.

    The MHOR also place duties on employees to take care of their own health and safety and to cooperate with their employer’s health and safety arrangements.

    A few things to keep in mind about the Manual Handling Operations Regulations:

    • The Regulations do not set specific weight limits for manual handling tasks. Instead, they focus on the risk of injury from the task, taking into account factors such as the weight of the load, the distance it is moved, the posture of the person carrying it, and the frequency of the task.
    • The Regulations apply to all workplaces in the UK, regardless of the size of the business.
    • There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, such as using mechanical aids, modifying the workplace, and providing training to employees.

    How to make a manual handling compensation claim

    If you’ve been injured as a result of a manual handling accident, here’s how to make a personal injury claim:

    • Seek medical attention: Your health comes first. If you’ve suffered an injury due to manual handling, seek immediate medical attention. This not only ensures your well-being but also provides crucial documentation of your injuries.

    • Report the incident: Notify your employer or supervisor about the incident as soon as possible. Make sure to document the details of the accident, including the date, time, location, and how it happened.

    • Gather evidence: Collect evidence to support your claim. This may include photographs of the accident site, any hazardous conditions, or faulty equipment that contributed to the injury.

    • Witness statements: If there were witnesses to the incident, collect their contact information and ask them to provide statements detailing what they saw.

    • Keep records: Maintain a detailed record of your injuries, medical treatment, and any related expenses. This includes medical bills, prescriptions, travel costs, and time off work.

    • Inform your union: If you’re a member of a trade union, inform them about the incident. They can provide guidance and support throughout the claims process.

    • Notify your employer: In many cases, manual handling compensation claims start with an internal process. Notify your employer formally about your intent to claim compensation. They should have a designated procedure for this.

    • Medical assessment: You may need to undergo an independent medical assessment to determine the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life and work.

    • Court proceedings (if necessary): If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, legal proceedings might be initiated.

    • Compensation: If successful, you will receive compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs.

    • Future considerations: Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to consider ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, or adjustments to your work environment. Your compensation should account for these future needs.

    What evidence you need to collect to support your manual handling claim

    Gathering the right evidence is crucial to supporting your manual handling claim. Here’s what you should consider collecting:

    • Incident details: Document the specifics of the incident, including the date, time, and location. Describe how the manual handling task was being performed and what led to the injury.

    • Photographs: Take clear photos of the accident site, the equipment involved, any hazards, and the overall work area. Visual evidence can provide context and support your claim.

    • Hazard identification: Make note of any hazards or unsafe conditions that contributed to the incident. This might include faulty equipment, inadequate training, or lack of proper safety measures.

    • Witness statements: If there were witnesses to the incident, ask them to provide statements describing what they saw. Their accounts can add credibility to your claim.

    • Medical records: Collect all medical records related to your injuries. This includes hospital records, doctor’s notes, test results, treatment plans, and any prescribed medications.

    • Treatment expenses: Keep track of all medical expenses, including bills for doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, and any other treatments you received.

    • Loss of earnings: If your injuries caused you to miss work, gather documents that show your lost wages, such as pay stubs or a letter from your employer.

    • Expert opinions: If applicable, seek opinions from medical experts or professionals who can provide insight into the cause and extent of your injuries.

    • Incident reporting: Provide any written reports or notifications you made to your employer about the incident. This shows that you followed proper procedures.

    • Documentation of communication: Keep records of any correspondence, emails, or conversations related to the incident, including discussions with your employer, colleagues, or union representatives.

    • Safety procedures: If there were established safety procedures or guidelines for the manual handling task, gather documentation that outlines these procedures.

    • Training records: Include records of any training you received related to manual handling safety and techniques.

    • Personal notes: Write down your own account of the incident, your injuries, and how they have affected your daily life, work, and overall well-being.

    • Employment contract: If your employment contract includes clauses related to health and safety, gather this documentation as it may support your claim.

    • Union involvement: If you’re a member of a trade union, include any correspondence or assistance they provided in relation to the incident.

    Remember, the more comprehensive your evidence, the stronger your manual handling claim is likely to be.

    For more help with manual handling accident claims, call 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice and speak to a trained legal advisor. They will partner you with a personal injury lawyer who will guide you on what specific evidence would best support your case. They will also help you build a solid claim and navigate the legal process effectively. More importantly, when you make a claim through us, it’s made on a no win no fee claim basis meaning it won’t cost you a penny to seek the compensation payment you deserve.

    How much compensation could I claim?

    Working out the amount of compensation you could claim for a manual handling injury involves considering two main types of damages: special damages and general damages.

    Let’s break down each category:

    1. Special damages:

    Special damages are quantifiable financial losses directly related to your injury. These damages are calculated based on actual expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the incident, or you could incur in the future. Here are some examples of special damages you could claim:

    • Medical expenses: This includes costs for hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, medical equipment, and rehabilitation or physical therapy.

    • Lost earnings: Compensation for income lost due to time off work during your recovery. It may cover both past and future lost earnings if your injury affects your ability to work.

    • Travel expenses: Any costs related to traveling for medical appointments or treatments, such as mileage, public transportation fares, or parking fees.

    • Home modifications: If your injury requires modifications to your home, such as installing ramps or handrails, these costs may be included.

    • Care and assistance: If you require additional help with daily tasks due to your injury, such as hiring a caregiver, those expenses may be considered.

    • Property damage: If your personal property was damaged in the incident, you may be able to claim the cost of repair or replacement.

    2. General damages:

    General damages are less tangible and more challenging to quantify. These damages account for the physical and emotional impact of the injury on your life. Factors that influence general damages include the severity of your injuries, pain and suffering, and how your quality of life has been affected. Examples of general damages you could claim include:

    • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced due to your injury.

    • Loss of enjoyment: If your injury has prevented you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, you may be able to claim compensation for the loss of quality of life.

    • Mental anguish: Emotional distress, anxiety, and depression caused by the injury may be considered for compensation.

    • Loss of consortium: If your injury has negatively impacted your relationship with your spouse or partner, this may be included as a general damages claim.

    The amount of compensation can vary widely based on factors such as the nature and severity of your injury, the impact on your life, and the specific circumstances of your case.

    Average compensation amounts for manual handling injury claims

    While there isn’t a set compensation amount for a manual handling injury, the Judicial College Guidelines from the Ministry of Justice provide recommended amounts based on injuries to specific body parts. For example:

    • Head – minor injury – £1,880.00 to £10,890.00

    • Head – severe injury – £240,590.00 to £344,640.00

    • Back – moderate injury – £11,730.00 to £26,050.00

    • Arm – serious injury – £33,430.00 to £111,690.00

    • Finger – moderate injury – £3,370.00 to £5,000.00

    To get a more accurate estimate of how much compensation you could claim, call 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice today and begin the process for claiming compensation for manual handling injuries caused by workplace accidents.

    How long after an incident at work can I make a manual handling injury compensation claim?

    There is typically a three year time limit from the date of your injury to make a manual handling compensation claim. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were not aware of your injury until later, you may have longer to make a claim. Or you were under 18 at the time of the injury. Or if you’re acting on behalf of someone who is mentally incapacitated.

    How much will it cost me to make a manual handling compensation claim?

    When you make a claim through us, your claim will be processed on a no win no fee basis. In a “no win, no fee” arrangement, also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), you won’t have to pay legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. However, if your claim is successful, a percentage of the compensation you receive will go towards covering your lawyer’s fees. The exact percentage will be agreed upon at the beginning of the process and is capped at 25% of the award amount.

    Make an manual handling compensation claim with

    You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making a compensation claim through us. To find out more, call 0800 234 6438 today and speak with a trained legal advisor.

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