Manual Handling Accident Claims
Manual handling can be defined as the supporting or transporting of a load, which includes lifting, pushing, carrying, pulling and lowering of items. This wide definition means that most workers will carry out some form of manual handling task during the course of their employment, regardless of their occupation. Some workers may do the occasional lifting or carrying or items whereas others may perform manual handling work as a prominent feature of their job.
The vast majority of people carry out manual handling tasks without any concern. But unfortunately, accidents do happen, which can result in a wide range of injuries being sustained. This can include injury to the back, neck, arms or legs, some of which can cause permanent damage that has a major impact on a person’s life.
In some cases, a manual handling injury isn’t caused by a specific accident, but due other factors. This could include the following:
- inadequate or lack of training
- poor lifting techniques
- unsafe working systems
- repetitive work with insufficient breaks
- poor workplace layout
It is important to recognise that employers have a duty of care to protect their employees against accidents and injuries. Employers must ensure that staff are trained and are able to complete their duties in a safe manner.
If a company fails to have a safe system of work in place or fails to protect the health and safety of their workers, the injured person may be entitled to make a work accident compensation claim.
Employer responsibilities for manual handling activities
Manual handling accidents result in a large number of work-related injury claims each year. These are injuries and claims that in most parts could and should be avoided through correct training and working practices.
To help enforce safe manual handling and prevent worker injuries, employers must meet the requirements set out in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR). Under this regulation, employers have a duty of care to take steps to prevent employees from suffering harm or injury while undertaking manual handling tasks in the workplace. The measures that should be taken include the following:
- as far as reasonably practicable, hazardous manual handling tasks should be avoided
- if manual handling cannot be avoided, full risk assessments should be undertaken to assess the risk of injury
- take steps to reduce the possible risk of injuries, so far as reasonably practicable. This may include the provision of training or access to lifting equipment.
It is important to remember that an employer will not be liable for all injuries caused by manual handling. In some cases the injuries sustained by an employee simply cannot be avoided. The onus on the employer is to take steps that are ‘reasonably practicable’ to help avoid these injuries and accidents from occurring.
An employer could be liable to pay personal injury compensation if an employee has suffered an injury as a result of the following:
- failing to provide adequate training to workers
- failing to assess risks associated with the work procedures
- failing to provide enough staff to perform the task safely
- failing to provide lifting aid or equipment to the workers
Is there a time limit for beginning a manual handling accident claim?
Claims for manual handling accidents should be made within three years of the incident. If a claim is not presented within this time limit, you would most likely be unable to proceed any further with your claim, even if your employer was at fault.
As mentioned above, in some cases an injury may be caused over a long period of unsafe working practices, rather than one specific moment. In cases such as these, the three year time limit for starting your claim would begin to court down on the date you are diagnosed with a work-related injury.
It is usually a good idea to initiate your claim for compensation at the earliest opportunity. By doing so, your solicitor will be able to work with you to ensure that relevant deadlines are met and that you receive the full compensation that you are legally entitled to for the injury and financial losses sustained.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation that you will be awarded will depend upon the type and severity of the injuries you have sustained. In basic terms, the more significant and longer lasting the injury is, the higher the award of compensation is likely to be.
In additional to damages for the pain and suffering caused by your injury, you will also be entitled to claim for any financial losses which have resulted from your accident. For example, if you sustained a back injury from heavy lifting at work, you may be forced to take time off to recover. You should not be left out of pocket following an accident that was not your fault, so you would be entitled to recover damages for any loss of earnings.
Compensation can also be claimed for other expenses, such as the cost of any physiotherapy or other medical treatment required, the cost of medications and transport related costs, such as taxi fairs to and from doctor appointments.
If you were partly responsible for the accident or injury you have sustained, the amount of compensation awarded might be reduced. This is known as contributory negligence, and will reduce your damages by a percentage which reflects how much you have contributed to your injury. For example, if you had a long-standing neck injury, and this was subsequently made worse through negligent manual handling at work, your employer can only be held liable for the amount of damage that can be attributed to them.
How much will it cost to make a manual handling accident claim?
Making a claim with the help of an injury solicitor is simple, as they will provide a 100% no win, no fee service. This means that you will not be asked to make any upfront payments to start your claim, and you will not be charged a penny if they cannot win your case. If your solicitors are successful and you are awarded compensation, a small percentage may be taken from your damages to cover the solicitors costs. This percentage (maximum of 25%, but often lower) will be fully disclosed to you during your free consultation.
Your solicitor will aim to make the entire claim process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. From your first consultation through to the completion of your case, your solicitor will provide an efficient and transparent service, keeping you updated every step of the way.
Why choose a solicitor to manage my claim?
The solicitors we work in partnership with have extensive and varied experience in dealing with manual handling and other work-related accident claims. They work with integrity and confidence to ensure that clients always understand the processes involved throughout their compensation claim.
You will receive the following benefits:
- Free initial consultation with no obligation attached
- A genuine no win, no fee service
- Local solicitors in locations throughout the UK
- Open, honest and friendly service
- Dedication to achieving maximum compensation for clients
To find out more about the service available, the process of making an accident claim or to ask any questions you may have, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back using the contact form below.