Have you suffered an injury from lifting at work?
If you have been injured due to heavy lifting at work, you may be entitled to make a lifting injury compensation claim against your employer.
How Much Could You Claim?

Lifting Injury Claims

Have you suffered a neck, back, shoulder or any other type of injury from lifting heavy objects at work? If you have, you may be eligible to make a lifting injury claim and get compensation for the pain and losses that you have suffered.

Manual handling and lifting injuries are common at workplaces across the UK, but such injuries are usually preventable. If the work you are carrying out had been done by mechanical means or if you had received adequate training before carrying out the lifting task, most lifting injuries could have been avoided.

In the UK, more than one-third of all the injuries and accidents that occur at the workplace and require more than two days off work involves heavy lifting and manual handling. Those who work on construction sites, factories and farms are not the only people at risk of suffering from lifting injuries. People working in restaurants, schools, offices and shops are also at risk of sustaining lifting injuries if they are not given adequate training or the necessary tools needed to carry out their tasks safely.

Although it is impossible to prevent all manual handling and lifting injuries at work, adopting measures to minimise the risks of accidents and injuries is possible. It is the duty of your employer to carry out risk assessments at the workplace and ensure that employees who carry out lifting work are adequately trained.

If your employer has failed in their duty of care and you have been injured, you may be eligible to make a lifting injury claim. To discuss your claim with an experienced legal adviser, call 0800 032 3660 or use our online claim form to request a call back.

If you are entitled to compensation, the solicitors we work with will provide a no win no fee service. This means you don’t have to pay anything upfront to start your claim, and you will only pay a success fee (a maximum of 25% of your compensation award) if your claim is successful. Otherwise, you won’t pay a penny.

Am I eligible to start a lifting injury compensation claim?

Lifting injuries may occur in the workplace due to lifting an object or weight and may cause damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bones. This may result in significant pain and suffering, psychological trauma, time off work and other financial losses that you might be able to recover in a personal injury claim. As a general rule, you might be eligible to claim lifting injury compensation if you have relevant evidence to prove that:

  • Another party, which is usually an employer, owed you a duty of care
  • They breached their duty towards you by acting negligently
  • You suffered a lifting injury or injuries as a result within the last three years

If you believe that you or a loved one might have a valid lifting injury claim, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible by calling 0800 032 3660. An experienced solicitor will offer you a free case assessment and ask a few questions to determine your eligibility for compensation.

If your claim is valid, they will take on your case on a no win no fee basis and provide support and advice at every step of the process. A solicitor can also help you seek compensation on behalf of a loved one if they are unable to conduct legal proceedings themselves.

What evidence do I need to claim lifting injury compensation?

If you want to make a lifting injury compensation claim, you need to supply evidence showing how you sustained your injuries, how severe they are, who is to blame and how they have affected your life in the short and long term. With this in mind, you should:

  • Seek medical care to have your injuries assessed and treated. Your solicitor will use your medical records to prove the type and extent of your lifting injuries.
  • Take pictures or a video of the accident scene and your working environment. If available, you should also try to secure any CCTV footage that may prove the cause of your injuries.
  • Ask your co-workers for their contact details for you to forward to a solicitor if they agree to give a statement to help prove your injuries were due to your working conditions.
  • Report the accident to your employer and make sure they register it in the company’s accident log book. A signed copy of the report will help prove the date, time and location of your accident and that your employer is aware of the injuries you sustained.
  • If you had any correspondence with your employer where you informed them of your concerns, such as emails or letters, these could also be used as evidence in your lifting injury claim.
  • Keep track of all the financial losses and expenses you incurred due to your lifting injuries, such as receipts, invoices and pay slips.

Your solicitor might also arrange a free medical visit with a government-approved physician to determine whether you have any immediate medical or rehabilitation needs and the long-term effects of your injury. They will also access your employment and training records to verify whether you receive adequate training for the job.

Common causes of lifting injuries at work

Lifting injuries are a common type of workplace injury and can occur in a variety of occupations that require lifting, carrying, and moving heavy objects. Some of the most common causes of lifting injuries at work include:

  • Improper lifting technique: One of the most common causes of injuries at work is improper lifting techniques. These can include lifting with the back instead of the legs, lifting while twisting, or lifting an object that is too heavy.
  • Overexertion: Lifting heavy objects can be physically demanding and may lead to overexertion. This can occur when you lift or carry an object repeatedly throughout the day or perform tasks that require a lot of physical effort.
  • Heavy or awkward objects: Lifting heavy or awkward objects can increase the risk of injury, especially if the item is difficult to grip or move.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue can make it more difficult to lift and carry heavy objects, increasing the risk of injury. Workers who are fatigued due to long hours or lack of sleep may be more prone to lifting injuries.
  • Lack of training: Workers who do not receive proper training on how to lift heavy objects or who do not receive regular safety training may be at a higher risk of lifting injuries.
  • Unsafe working conditions: Workplaces that have hazardous or cluttered working conditions can increase the risk of lifting injuries. For example, you may be more likely to trip or fall while carrying a heavy object if the work area is not properly maintained.

Employers must protect workers from injuries in the workplace by taking all reasonable measures to eliminate or reduce the risk of accidents. You can learn more about what your employer should have done to prevent your lifting injuries in the section below.

Employer responsibilities to prevent lifting injuries

Employers are legally obliged to provide a safe work environment for their employees and take reasonable steps to prevent lifting injuries. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the main UK legislation that imposes duties on employers to prevent lifting injuries, some of which include:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments to identify any hazards associated with lifting and carrying heavy objects in the workplace.
  • Provide training on safe lifting techniques and best practices for preventing lifting injuries. Training should include lifting heavy objects correctly, using lifting equipment, and recognising potential hazards.
  • Provide lifting equipment such as dollies, carts, and hand trucks to assist with lifting heavy objects.
  • Create a safe work environment by maintaining a clean and organised workspace free from hazards that could cause lifting injuries. That includes keeping walkways clear of clutter and debris, providing adequate lighting, and ensuring employees have enough space to move and lift objects safely.
  • Encourage employees to report any lifting injuries or hazards they encounter in the workplace.

By taking these steps, employers can help prevent lifting injuries at work and create a safer work environment for their employees. A failure to comply with any of these rules can result in a lifting or manual handling claim and liability to pay compensation for any harm suffered due to negligence.

Common injuries caused by lifting at work

Injuries sustained from heavy lifting and manual handling can occur suddenly, or they can develop over a long period of time. For instance, if a worker lifts a very heavy object once only, it is possible that they may strain a muscle or suffer a hernia. In other cases, a worker may carry out lighter lifting tasks repetitively and over some time, may sustain a repetitive strain injury.

Many different injuries can be caused by lifting objects, but some of the most common injuries include the following:

  • Back injuries – the most common workplace injury caused by heavy lifting is a back injury. Not only can these injuries be incredibly painful, but they can also cause long-term damage, which may impact your ability to work. If your employer requires you to do lifting work, they must ensure you receive the proper training needed to carry out these tasks safely.
  • Hernias – a hernia can be caused in a number of ways, but one of the most common causes is through carrying and lifting tasks at work. A hernia is a condition in which the muscle tissues rupture and part of the internal system protrudes. Since a hernia can be caused in many different ways, it can sometimes be challenging to prove that your employer was responsible for your injury. However, this is where the help of an experienced injury lawyer can be invaluable.
  • Arm, neck and shoulder injuries – when safe lifting and manual handling techniques are not adopted, there is every chance a person could suffer from arm, neck or shoulder injuries. These type of injuries are usually caused by inadequate training and working under cramped conditions.

Other injuries that may be caused by lifting at work include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Muscle tearing
  • Nerve damage
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Crush injuries

Steps you can take to prevent lifting injuries

A lifting injury is caused when tasks such as pushing, pulling, moving, holding and carrying objects are performed inappropriately. Other factors that can contribute to lifting injuries include poor posture, particular physical characteristics, and pre-existing medical conditions. Lifting and manual handling injuries can result in pain, discomfort, time off work, and sometimes permanent disability, such as spinal cord damage.

There are many different steps you can take to help prevent lifting injuries in the workplace, such as:

  • Before lifting any heavy objects, you must be able to evaluate the situation. You must determine what options you have available. Think whether it is possible to share the load with someone else or you can carry the load piece by piece. You must not bend automatically and start lifting the object, as this will directly affect your back.
  • Find out how heavy the object is. If the package does not mention the weight, tip it to determine how heavy it may be. If the object is too heavy, you may need to call for help or use a forklift truck if one is available.
  • There is always a risk of slipping and twisting when lifting heavy objects, so you should always check the floor around you before performing any lifting tasks.
  • When lowering objects from a height or lifting objects, do not extend your arms, as this puts pressure on the back and can result in a back injury.
  • Keep your back straight and kneel to get hold of the object. Lift the object with your legs and avoid using your back.
  • Take short steps while carrying heavy objects.
  • Plan your route in advance and take the shortest possible way to where you need to take the object.
  • Do not hurry while lifting heavy objects because saving a few minutes is not worth a painful and permanent injury.

Is my job at risk if I make a lifting injury claim?

It is illegal for an employer to terminate an employment contract or take any other adverse action against an employee in retaliation for making a lifting injury claim. In the UK, employment laws are in place to ensure you will not be discriminated against for seeking compensation.

It is, nonetheless, possible that your employer may attempt to retaliate against you for making a lifting injury claim. Retaliation can take many forms, such as demotion, transfer, reduction in pay or hours, or termination. That would be considered unfair or constructive dismissal and may entitle you to take further legal action.

It is essential to remember that reporting a workplace injury and pursuing compensation is your legal right as an employee. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible and seek medical attention. That will ensure you have valid evidence to start a claim and will also help prevent similar injuries in the future.

The solicitors we work in partnership with have extensive experience in dealing with work accident claims and will know your legal rights. If you decide to pursue compensation, they will also handle communication with your employer, so you will not have to discuss your claim directly with them.

How much compensation can I claim for a lifting injury?

The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to receive for a successful lifting injury claim will depend on several factors. Personal injury awards are separated into two different areas, called general damages and special damages.

General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering that has been due to your employer’s negligence and may include factors such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Inability to pursue a hobby or social event
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Long-term physical disability
  • Decrease in the quality of life
  • Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life

To calculate how much general damages you should receive, your solicitor will base their figure on the guidelines produced by the Judicial College. The Judicial College Guidelines provide minimum and maximum compensation awards for injuries of varying severities to each body part, including internal organs and damages to senses such as smell and sight.

Whether your injuries fit within the guidelines will be based on the evidence of a medical professional, who will help determine the severity of your injury, the likely recovery period and whether there will be any lasting issues. Some examples of compensation for general damages are listed below:

  • Up to £1,960 for relatively minor back injuries that need a short recovery period and do not cause any long-lasting problems
  • £9,970 to £22,130 for more severe back injuries such as muscle or ligament tears that require surgery
  • £59,120 to £151,070 for very severe back injuries that include nerve or spinal cord damage that may cause loss of sensation or bodily functions and various degrees of paralysis
  • £5,590 to £13,080 for moderate complications arising from a hernia injury
  • Around £139,210 if you suffer a hernia that causes damage to the reproductive system
  • £5,630 to £16,380 for mild arm injuries, such as a fractured forearm or humerus
  • £33,430 to £111,690 for severe arm injuries resulting in various degrees of disability
  • £10,960 to £23,460 for neck injuries such as soft tissue damage that may result in mobility restrictions and chronic pain

Next, your solicitor will assess any financial losses you have sustained after your lifting accident. Any out-of-pocket expenses that are directly related to your accident can be recovered from the party at fault. These are known as special damages and can include the following:

  • Loss of earnings – if you have lost wages due to having time off work because of your injuries, your solicitor will help you recover these losses.
  • Future loss of earnings – if the lifting injury you have suffered will affect your ability to work, your solicitor can help you claim compensation for future loss of wages.
  • Prescription costs – many injuries, such as those to the back, neck or shoulder, may require you to take painkillers or other medication for several weeks, months or even years. If you have to pay for this medication, the cost can be included in your claim.
  • Medical treatment – you may require medical treatment, such as physiotherapy, to help your recovery.
  • Transportation costs – if you have to pay for transport because of your injury, whether a bus, taxi or train, you are entitled to recover these out-of-pocket expenses.

The above list is not exhaustive. Most expenses that are linked to your accident and injury can be included as part of your lifting injury compensation claim. However, you must have evidence of any financial losses you want to include in your damages. It is essential to keep receipts, wage slips and bank statements that your solicitor can use to support your case.

How long do I have to make a claim?

There is a three-year time limit from the date of an accident to make a lifting injury claim. Starting legal proceedings within this time limit is crucial, as the courts are usually very strict regarding this issue, and your case might become statute-barred. While it is possible to seek an extension, this is a rare occurrence typically reserved for exceptional circumstances.

If your injury, or the fact that it was due to lifting at work, is not apparent until a later date, it is this date that would be used as the start of your three-year time limit. This is known as the date of knowledge.

Although three years might seem like a long time, we would always recommend you start your claim as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure you receive your lifting injury compensation sooner, but it also makes gathering evidence much easier.

There are a few exceptions to the three-year time claim limitation date:

  • If the claimant is under 18 years old, the time starts to run once they legally become an adult, and they will have until their 21st birthday to claim. Before that, a parent or legal guardian could pursue compensation on their behalf at any time.
  • The time limit to claim compensation for lifting injuries abroad can vary considerably between countries and could be much shorter than three years. You should seek legal advice as early as possible if you were injured while working outside the UK.
  • There is no time limit for a litigation friend to start a lifting injury compensation claim for someone who cannot conduct legal proceedings. They could lack mental capacity due to various reasons, such as:
    • A brain or spinal cord injury
    • An intellectual disability like Down syndrome
    • A mental health condition such as schizophrenia
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • A neurodegenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease

Can I claim lifting injury compensation on a no win no fee basis?

Yes, a solicitor experienced in claims for lifting injuries will be able to provide you with a 100% no win no fee service. During a free initial consultation, they will assess the validity of your case and your chances of success. If you are eligible for lifting injury compensation, they will offer you a conditional fee agreement, which means you will not pay them a penny if your case is lost.

On top of the conditional fee agreement between you and your solicitor, they will also ensure you will not incur any legal charges in the event of a loss. That is made possible by the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy, which covers all the costs and disbursements incurred during claiming, such as:

  • The other side’s solicitor fees
  • Court and counsel fees
  • The cost of medical and specialist reports
  • Expert witness fees
  • Costs of printing and copying
  • Any travel expenses related to the claim

No win no fee allows you to pursue compensation for lifting injuries without paying anything upfront or taking any financial risks, which makes it the preferred service for funding a personal injury claim. You only have to pay anything after receiving compensation, which may include the following:

  • The cost of the ATE insurance policy
  • Some basic legal fees that cannot be recovered from the other side, such as the cost of any documents that were not useful in the claim
  • A success fee paid to your solicitor for the risk they took by offering you a no win no fee agreement, meaning they would not be able to recover their costs in the event of a loss. The success fee is agreed upon from the beginning and cannot exceed 25% of your settlement.

If you choose to start a lifting injury claim on a no win no fee basis, your solicitor will explain the whole process to you in straightforward language and answer any questions you may have.

Arrange a free case assessment

The injury solicitors we work in partnership with have years of experience handling all types of work accidents, including claims for lifting injuries. If you have suffered an injury at work in the past three years due to your employer’s negligence, a solicitor can help you claim the compensation you deserve.

If you believe you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should arrange a free case assessment as soon as possible. This is provided without any obligation or pressure to proceed, and it is an opportunity for you to discuss the circumstances of your accident and injury with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You will also be free to ask any questions you have about making a claim and the services your solicitor can provide.

If you do have a valid lifting injury compensation claim, your solicitor will be happy to fight your corner on a genuine no win no fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs and no hidden charges. You will not pay your solicitor a penny if they cannot win your case.

To start your claim or to receive some free legal advice, contact a friendly legal adviser today by calling 0800 032 3660 or enter your details below to receive a call back.