Making A Manual Handling Injury Compensation Claim

Employers must comply with their statutory duties in providing adequate manual handling training or risk assessments. You can claim compensation if you have been injured through lifting or moving objects if it can be proven your employer has been negligent.

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Lifting boxes at work

What is a manual handling injury?

Any workplace task that requires an individual to lift, move or support a load is a manual handling task. The Health and Safety Executive define it as: “Transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or by bodily force.”

Over a third of reportable workplace injuries occur after an incident of manual handling. They represent a large proportion of the accident at work compensation claims we deal with. The majority arise as a direct result of employers failing to pay the necessary attention to manual handling safety. These claims will succeed if it can be shown that the employer has been negligent.

Manual handling injuries can be linked to any work involving the handling of loads, even light items. Those known to be at high risk include care workers, manufacturing staff, agricultural and construction workers. It should be noted however, that any person in any workplace is at risk of a manual handling injury.

Commonly, manual handling injuries involve the back and muscle strains, and can be a very serious matter. They can limit mobility, affect independence and often leave people struggling to work and maintain their usual day-to-day lifestyle. Claiming compensation can help you to recover physically and financially.

What does the law state?

If employers are tasking staff members to lift items, it doesn’t matter what weight the items are, they must ensure workers are correctly trained and provided with the right know-how and tools to work safely. Further, the employer is responsible for the maintenance and safety of lifting equipment, for example hoists, platforms, or forklifts.

Employers should look at the task to be performed, the working environment and individual capabilities. Staff members should be shown how to lift items safely, and know when something is too heavy to lift alone or without mechanical help.

Manual handling regulations require employers to:

  • Minimise incorrect and dangerous manual handling practices so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Review potentially hazardous manual handling tasks that are unavoidable
  • Ensure that steps have been taken that will minimise and help to avoid the risk of manual handling injury so far as is reasonably practicable

Regardless of the kind of workplace, employers must by law ensure:

  • That staff are adequately trained in how to lift items safely, identify heavy items and be provided with the correct equipment and working environment to follow such training
  • That any equipment provided to staff to enable them to lift heavier items are regularly maintained and repaired
  • That any equipment reported or found to be faulty or dangerous are removed from use

When can you make a manual handling injury claim?

Whilst claims are usually associated with jobs that include repeated lifting, such as in warehouses, factories, construction sites and shops, they can happen in any workplace. Even office jobs can see employees suffer manual handling injuries.

Common scenarios leading to manual handling injury compensation include:

  • Employers failing to provide manual handling guidance or training
  • Not advising staff of the risks of lifting incorrectly
  • Forcing people to lift weights heavier than they should
  • Refusing or failing to provide lifting equipment
  • A working environment that prevents people from working and lifting safely

Employers that fail to ensure full training, guidance and a safe ‘lifting and moving’ policy will be liable should any related injuries happen to their staff. Any person injured in this way at work is entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. If you believe that the cause of your injury was because of the negligence of an employer (or any other organisation) in relation to manual handling guidance, you should contact Direct2Compensation today to start your claim.

Why make a compensation claim?

Claiming personal injury compensation can help to ease the problems caused by your injuries. Our claimants are often in a considerable amount of pain, unable to move freely, sleep comfortably or work and earn their regular salary. Recovering from manual handling injuries can take many months, and it is often the case that victims never feel like they have fully recovered and discomfort is felt whenever they attempt any physical task or need to lift items.

As well as claiming a financial settlement if you have been injured at work, compensation can also help you in other ways:

  • Making a claim is your legal right, and fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault
  • It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery
  • It can make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again

As all claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed.

Specialist rehabilitation therapies

Once your solicitor has obtained an admission of liability from your employer’s insurers, your claim will succeed. At this point, your solicitor can look to help you to recover more quickly by obtaining specialist rehabilitation therapy. In the case of a manual handling injury, such rehabilitation would most likely involve osteopathic, chiropractic, physio or massage therapies. Any treatments will be provided at the expense of the third party dealing with your claim.

Compensation amounts

Settlement values vary from case to case, and are comprised of what are known as general and special damages. General damages cover the injury itself and the effect it has on your life. For instance, whether the injury affects your ability to earn money, do your job, perform your usual activities outside work and how long you are likely to experience such problems. Special damages cover the financial costs you incur because of the injury – medical treatments, travel expenses, property damage, for example.

The table below provides a guide to average compensation amounts for back injuries suffered at work, not including the special damages element of a claim:

Severity of back injuryCompensation amount
Recovering within a few monthsup to £1,860
Recovering within a few years£1,860 – £6,000
Recovering within 2-5 years£6,000 – £9,500
Permanent symptoms£9,500 – £21,100
Serious permanent symptoms£21,100 – £29,475
Chronic permanent symptoms£29,475 – £53,000
Significant permanent impact£53,000 – £67,200

How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim

If you have suffered a manual handling-related injury at work or anywhere else, it is important to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly. Medical attention should also be sought for any injuries that you have sustained. If you haven’t done this already, we can help you to do so.

Direct2Compensation are experts in managing injury at work compensation claims. We know your rights and can help you to understand whether you are likely to win compensation. We can advise you on important issues and how the no win no fee claims process works.

With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your manual handling claim.

To find out if you have a valid claim, fill out our claims form and we’ll call you back. If you prefer, you can call us on 01225 430285.

Direct2Compensation are regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities. Our authorisation number is: CRM33541.

6 questions   ASK YOUR OWN

  1. I was going down the steps of the London underground with my tool case in my hand which weighs approx 20 Kg when a rushing commuter knocked me off balance and I lost my footing and came down heavily on my left foot. I felt a sharp pain in my ankle and thought I had sprained it. I had in fact ruptured my tendon in my ankle causing me to have surgery for a tendon transplant. I had not received any manual handling training from my employer prior to this or any advice on transporting tools and test equipment necessary for the work I do. I am still off work six months later and have now had my pay stopped. Advice please

    1. Peter

      The situation you describe certainly a sad set of circumstances.

      I am afraid a claim against your employer has no merit and would not (in our view) succeed. Your tool bag is a bit of a red herring as carrying it wasn’t the cause of the fall or injuries. Negligence here rests with the rushing commuter – and you would be perfectly entitled to sue this person if you knew who they were and where they lived. However, even if you had the commuters contact details (which we assume you don’t) any Solicitor would need to be satisfied that the commuter had sufficient financial means to pay damages to you and legal costs as there would be no insurance to cover such a claim. As such, any claim is unlikely.

      You may have had prospects of pursuing your employer if it had been your heavy bag that caused you to lose balance and fall (although the courts would be unlikey to say that a bay weighing 20kg would be unacceptable unless you had a medical reason for being unable to carry such a weight which he had previously disclosed to your employer). However this is not the case and your employer cannot possibly be liable for the unforeseen and accidental actions of a third party.

      I’m very sorry that we can’t give you a more hopeful or positive response to your enquiry, particularly given the injuries you have sustained.

      Have you explored your options with regards to what state benefits you may be entitled to? If you were injured whilst travelling during the course of your employment – for example whilst travelling to a customer’s job (as opposed to commuting to or from work) – you may be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit which is non-means tested.

      I hope that this information is of some help to you.

      1. I am uneasy about your comment about the tool case being a red herring, the other commuter actually caught the tool case I was carrying ,not me also the bag was causing me to be off balance and had I not been carrying it I am certain the outcome would have been different as I have been bumped on several occasions on the underground whilst not carrying the case and never had this problem.

        1. By red herring, we mean in terms of being able to hold your employer liable for the accident. The cause – whether they knocked in to you or your bag – was the rushing commuter.

          The outcome may have been less serious if the bag was not being carried at the time but that does not affect the cause.

          I do not doubt that the tool bag would have caused you to struggle to regain your balance and that you may well have not suffered injuries if you had not been carrying it, but when it comes to claiming compensation it is the cause of an accident that is key. It is our view that your employer would not be held responsible for this accident – in the circumstances you have described. However, it is clear that you have suffered a nasty injury and I do hope that you are able to make a recovery and get back to normal as soon as possible.

  2. I developed a repetitive strain injury in the hip region from heavy manual handling at work, there was a crane present at our premises and the crane was purchased for the purpose of lifting the heavy assembled units (which is outline on the risk assessment from HSE). The crane was never in the correct position, nor did I/anyone receive proper training on its use. After my injury I was advised to refrain from lifting by my GP and Physiotherapist which I followed and my duties at work were strictly to assemble w/out manual handling.

    I was later dismissed on medical grounds as the company was displeased that I was not able to carry out my full duties, meaning the manual handling (other people had to lift for me).

    Do I have a claim? Will the company have to cover my loss of earnings to date? I feel I was unfairly dismissed and the company should/could have done a better job to find me a different position within the company. This has affected my job prospects since my reason for leaving was on medical grounds and I am struggling to find employment within other industries.

    Let me know if you require more information!

    1. Christopher

      On the basis of your comments, my view is that you definitely meet the criteria to make us want to take this further.

      You have listed some clear employer negligence here – the fact that there was a lifting crane, but that nobody was trained to use it and therefore you had to manually lift would give me confidence that your employer would massively struggle to defend a claim brought against them for your repetitive strain injury (RSI).

      Direct2Compensation work with some brilliant rsi compensation solicitors who could pursue this for you on a No Win No Fee basis and we’d love to help you get this claim up and running.

      Please call me on 01225430285 or email me ([email protected]) so that we can discuss your situation and get the ball rolling.

      Yours sincerely


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