Manual Handling Accident Claims

Manual handling injuries are common in workplaces. If you’ve suffered one, you could make a claim for compensation.

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Manual handling injuries

Manual handling in the workplace is not usually a dangerous task, but there are times when it doesn’t go according to plan – and people can get hurt.

In fact, the Health and Safety Executive reported that in 2020, 19% of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace were caused by handling, lifting or carrying accidents.

This could be a pure accident – such as a misstep while carrying something – or it could be the result of someone’s negligence. And if this is the case, you could be able to make a manual handling injury claim.

Negligence can come in many forms. This means you may not realise right away that you may be entitled to compensation. The First4Lawyers team is here to help you work out whether you could be able to make a claim after this type of injury at work.

Examples of manual handling negligence

It is your employer’s duty to do all they can to keep you and your colleagues safe. If they don’t, and you are injured while lifting or carrying a load, they could be held responsible. You’ll need to show that they were negligent to do so.

Your employer’s negligence may have been responsible for your injury if:

  • An obstruction they should have removed caused your injury
  • They did not provide you with the correct training in manual handling
  • You were injured by faulty or unmaintained equipment you used in manual lifting
  • You needed equipment to move a load but your employer did not provide it
  • Your employer did not carry out a risk assessment

According to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, your employer should avoid the need for employees to carry out manual handling that involves a risk of injury.

If this isn’t possible and manual handling is necessary, they should carry out a risk assessment and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of injury to anyone involved in the task.

But you and your colleagues also have a role to play in avoiding manual handling injuries. You should ensure you are following the safety guidelines set out by your employer and reporting any dangerous practices you see.

What you should ask yourself before manually lifting an object

To keep yourself as safe as possible, you should be aware of the sorts of negligence that could cause an injury – but more importantly, you should know how to avoid this.

There are some things you should ask yourself before manually lifting an object to give yourself the best chance of avoiding an accident. These include:

  • Am I fit and strong enough to lift this load?
  • Are there any obstructions in the route I am carrying the load?
  • Can manual handling be avoided completely in this task?
  • Do I need equipment to safely lift this load?
  • Do I need help lifting this load?
  • Have I had the correct training?
  • How heavy is the load?
  • Is someone nearby to help if something goes wrong?
  • Is this load too heavy for me to lift?
  • Should this load be split down?

Types of manual handling injuries

Manual handling comes with risks. It is more likely to cause certain injuries.

Some of the most common types of injury when lifting and carrying heavy loads include:

  • Back injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Hand and arm injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Sprains or sprains

If you suffered any of these types of manual handling injuries through work, you could be able to make a compensation claim.

The risk of smaller loads

It’s not just large and heavy loads that you need to worry about. As part of your job, you may have to lift small loads regularly. Over time, this can lead to certain injuries.

Lifting small loads over a period of time can cause injuries like repetitive strain injury (RSI).

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work explains that the “gradual and cumulative deterioration of the musculoskeletal system” can lead to health conditions, such as lower back pain.

If your injury – whether it was caused over a long period or came on suddenly – was caused by your job, you could be able to make a claim for compensation.

How can I pay for my claim?

First4Lawyers works with expert No Win No Fee solicitors. This means if they think you have a strong claim, they will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

This kind of funding arrangement means that there is no fee to pay if your claim is unsuccessful – just as the name suggests. This means there is no risk involved in making a claim.

There is also nothing to pay upfront. All costs are settled at the end of the claim – and only if you are awarded compensation. Instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your solicitor at the start of a claim, you can focus your energy on your recovery.

Only pay a fee if you receive compensation

Our No Win No Fee solicitors will take a success fee from the compensation you are awarded for a successful claim in the form of a percentage of your damages. This could be up to 25% but it won't be more than that, except in cases of road traffic accidents. Changing laws mean our solicitors will now take a payment of 30% of the final compensation amount plus VAT for all road traffic accident claims.

First4Lawyers are an award-winning claims management company with a track record of delivering service that our clients love.

How much can I claim for my manual handling injury?

Manual handling injuries come in many different forms. This makes it difficult to say exactly what you might be entitled to without a conversation about what happened to you.

Our compensation calculator could give you a rough idea of what you could be awarded for your injury. It depends on your specific injury and how long your recover is expected to take.

But that’s not the only compensation you could claim. You’re also entitled to compensation for any financial losses your injury caused you to experience.

This includes a loss of earnings if you can’t work and then don’t get paid. It can also cover medical expenses, like medication or physiotherapy.

Your solicitor will be able to let you know what they think you could be entitled to. And they will work hard to get you what you deserve.

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  • In these cases brain damage, if any, will be minimal.
  • Where a good recovery has been made but symptoms such as poor concentration and memory problems continue.
  • Where ability to work is reduced and there is a risk of epilepsy.
  • The injured person is very seriously disabled and is dependent on others.
  • Epilepsy has been caused as a consequence of the injury.
  • Affecting the ability to cope with life and/or work or affecting relationships with family and friends.
  • The injured person largely recovers within two years.
  • Injury causes effects that cause significant disability for the foreseeable future, or permanently.
  • In consequence of defective permanent waving etc. where effects are dermatitis or hair loss leading to distress and effects on social life.
  • Where hair has been pulled out leaving bald patches, or stress-induced alopecia with full recovery within two years.
  • Resulting in pain and temporary interference with vision.
  • Permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Total loss of sight in one eye and reduced vision or other problems with the other eye
  • Total loss of sight in one eye only.
  • Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss
  • With noise induced hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus, or noise induced hearing loss alone.
  • With noise induced hearing loss
  • With or without associated problems such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
  • With or without the speech being affected, or tinnitus.
  • Full recovery with no surgery required.
  • Where recovery is complete after surgery
  • Injuries requiring a number of operations and/or resulting in permanent damage.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone, which will fully recover without surgery.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone requiring some reconstructive surgery, but with full recovery and little or no cosmetic effects.
  • Serious fractures causing lasting effects such as burning/prickling sensation or an element of disfigurement.
  • Requiring immobilisation but recovery is complete.
  • Serious injury causing permanent damage, such as difficulty eating or opening the mouth.
  • Very serious multiple fractures requiring prolonged treatment. Permanent effects such as severe pain, restricted eating.
  • Assessed per tooth.
  • Single tooth only.
  • Extends over a number of years, including significant deterioration of overall condition of the teeth.
  • Where full recovery takes place between nine months and one year.
  • Fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and chronic conditions, leading to impaired function or limitation of activities.
  • Injuries usually involving serious fractures or disc damage leading to disability, such as substantial loss of movement or loss of function in one or more limbs.
  • Caused by asbestos
  • Varying levels of respiratory disability and reduced lung function (1-10% and in excess of 10%)
  • Severe pain and impairment of the pleura (lung lining) or the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), affecting function and quality of life.
  • Causing respiratory disability attributed to asbestos exposure.
  • Causing permanent damage, impairment of function, physical disability and reduction of life expectancy.
  • Such as soft tissue damage causing considerable pain but recovery almost complete within two years.
  • Such as frozen shoulder causing limitation of movement and discomfort for up to two years.
  • Causing pain in shoulder and neck, aching in elbow, weakness of arm and hand.
  • Involving damage to the brachial plexus and resulting in significant disability.
  • Temporary or permanent disability as a result of a fracture.
  • Such as strains, sprains, disc prolapses and soft tissue injuries.
  • Such as disturbances of ligaments and muscles causing backache, or compression fracture.
  • Injuries causing severe pain and disability, including impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function.
  • Resulting in significant or permanent disability
  • Most elbow injuries such as simple fractures, laceration and tennis elbow, not resulting in permanent damage or impairment.
  • Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or significant disabilty
  • Injuries such as deep lacerations, soft tissue wounds or crush injuries, all recovering within six months.
  • Resulting in impairment of grip or reduced mechanical function. Partial amputations resulting in deformity.
  • Injuries such as a thumb being severed and re-attached, leaving it with little use, amputation of the tip or at the joint of the thumb. Nerve damage or fracture resulting in impaired grip or dexterity.
  • Amputation resulting in very little use and weak grip.
  • Amputation due to crush injuries, or loss of a significant part of the hand due to traumatic injury.
  • Serious injury resulting in extensive damage to both hands, effectively leaving them with little use.
  • Caused by repeated vibration, damage to hands including impaired grip, dexterity and frequent pain.
  • Such as an uncomplicated fracture with full or virtual recovery.
  • Injuries resulting in significant permanent disability, but some useful movement remains.
  • Injuries causing some permanent disability, such as persistent pain and stiffness.
  • Resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist, for example when an arthrodesis has been performed.
  • Such as a broken femur, tibia or fibular
  • Serious fracture or injuries to joints or ligaments, scarring, instability and lengthy treatment required.
  • Fractures where a full recovery is not made.
  • Loss of a leg below the knee
  • Loss of a leg above the knee
  • Both legs being lost above the knee, below the knee, or where one leg has been lost above the knee and the other below.
  • Torn cartilage or meniscus, laceration, twisting and bruising. May be full recovery, or continued aches and pains.
  • Injury or damage causing mild disability or continuing pain, discomfort or limited movement that may require future surgery.
  • Fractures, joint or ligament damage causing constant pain, impairing movement and agility. Requiring prolonged treatment, the injured person will be prone to osteoarthritis.
  • Including fractures where there is full recovery within two years.
  • Significant injury but any permanent disability is not major. Injury may require a hip replacement.
  • Such as extensive fractures resulting in substantial disabilities.
  • Simple metatarsal fractures, ruptured ligaments.
  • Displaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity.
  • Fractures to feet resulting in restricted mobility and /or considerable continuing pain.
  • Crush or multiple fractures to two or more toes, resulting in permanent disability.
  • Undisplaced fractures, sprains and ligament injuries.
  • For fractures and ligament tears resulting in moderate disability, such as difficulty walking on uneven ground or on stairs.
  • Injuries involving long periods of treatment, long period in plaster and some permanent disability.

Simply fill in our form below and we’ll call you back at a time to suit you.

Or talk to our team on:
0808 271 6198

There are other types of compensation you could be awarded through your accident such as loss of earnings or damage to property. The estimates given here are simply for your personal injury claim.

First4Lawyers' solicitors will be able to give you the best idea of the amount you should expect from your individual injury.

It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and the advice and estimates you'll be given, once your case has started, will be tailored specifically for your case.

How long do I have to make a claim?

You’ll usually have three years to make a claim for a manual handling injury suffered at work. It’s important not to delay your claim because there are very few reasons why a claim would be accepted after three years.

The sooner you begin your claim, the clearer your memory of the accident will likely be. The same will be true for any witnesses.

You might also find it easier to access certain pieces of evidence when you start a claim quickly. This could include CCTV footage of your accident, or copies of your workplace’s accident book.

So if you think you have a claim, the best thing to do is speak to an expert to find out.

Why should I make a manual handling injury claim?

If you’ve lost out on earnings after being injured, you could find yourself under financial pressure. A compensation claim could help to take some of this stress away.

You’re entitled to compensation if you’re hurt through someone else’s negligence. It is your legal right to make a claim for it.

Don’t forget that by making a claim, you could help the same accident happening to a colleague. This is because it draws your employer’s attention to what went wrong. And that can help them fix the problem.

And although we understand how intimidating it can be to claim against your employer, you have legal protection. Your employer can’t sack you for making a claim against them. If they do, you could claim unfair dismissal against them.

First4Lawyers is here for you during this stressful time. For a no obligation chat about your options, just give us a call or start your claim online.

Accident at Work FAQs

I had an accident at work – what are my rights?

You have the right to make a personal injury claim after an accident at work. You are entitled to be treated fairly by your employer throughout that process.

You also have the right to Statutory Sick Pay if you earn at least £1 per week before tax and are off sick for four or more days in a row.

What do I need to do in the event of an accident at work?

If you have been injured in an accident at work, you should ensure you do the following: 

  • See a doctor
    Visit your doctor as soon as possible to have any injuries treated and officially record the medical details of your accident.
  • Report it and record it
    Report the accident to your supervisor or manager. Make sure it is recorded in your workplace’s accident book. If you work in a very small business that doesn’t have an accident book, write down the details and give a copy to your employer, ensuring you keep a copy for yourself.
  • Keep track of the details
    If you can, be sure to make a note of the exact circumstances of your accident. If there were any witnesses, record their contact details as you may need to call upon them if you proceed with a compensation claim.
  • Keep track of expenses
    Make a note of any extra expenses that arise because of your accident. This includes travel costs to get to the hospital, loss of income due to time off work and any other related fees or losses. Be sure to hold onto receipts and documents as evidence.
  • Get in touch
    Contact us and we'll help you establish whether you are eligible to claim accident at work compensation. We will also guide you through the process that follows, then our expert accident at work solicitors will manage your case to completion. They will work with you to piece together the circumstances of your accident and ensure you are reimbursed for the losses that were caused.

Could I be dismissed after an accident at work?

No, your employer is not legally allowed to end your employment just because you made a claim. Under Health and Safety Executive guidance, your employer is obliged to provide a safe working environment for you, where any risks to employee safety are properly controlled. When your employer fails in its duty of care and an accident occurs, you are entitled to seek compensation.

If you are dismissed after making an accident at work compensation claim, you could also have a claim for unfair dismissal.

How soon after an accident do I have to return to work?

After an accident at work, you will likely want to keep your losses to a minimum. This will mean you’ll probably want to get back to work as soon as possible. But you should not feel pressured. Your employer cannot legally force you to return to work before you are ready – physically or psychologically.

Who pays the compensation for an accident at work?

If you successfully claim for injury because of an accident at work, your employer’s insurance company should cover the costs of the compensation. Employers are legally obliged to have this form of insurance, and you can find out which insurance company they use by asking to see the insurance certificate all employers must display by law.

Does it matter who or what my accident at work was caused by?

An accident at work can be caused by a variety of circumstances. The injury could result from actions taken by another employee or your employer, unsafe work environments, or a lack of protective clothing or training.

You may also decide to claim compensation if an incident in the workplace has caused a psychological illness – such as severe and avoidable stress or even PTSD – or if you have contracted an industrial disease associated with your role.

If your injury was caused by an accident in your workplace, you may be able to claim compensation.

Why should I report an accident at work?

Reporting an accident at work can help not only you, but your colleagues and anyone else who may visit your workplace. By making your employer aware of what happened, you can help them realise that something has not gone according to plan. They can use this knowledge to help correct the situation, ensuring that it won’t happen to anyone else.

You may also be required to prove that you reported your accident to your employer when making a claim for compensation. If you can do so, it can make the process far more straightforward.

Do you offer no win no fee accident at work claims?

Yes, most of our accident at work claims can be made on a no win no fee basis. This means there is nothing to pay upfront. It also means that if your claim is not successful, there is nothing to pay, eliminating any risk to you.

If this is not possible in your situation, we will talk you through your options so you can work out what the best course of action is.

How long does an accident at work claim take?

The length of time it takes to conclude an accident at work claim depends on your situation. The circumstances of your accident, how severe your injury is and how much it has affected your daily life will all have an impact on how long your claim takes.

Your employer will also affect the timeline. If they accept liability, your claim will be settled quicker than if they deny it.

How long it takes your solicitor to negotiate an appropriate compensation amount will also depend on your employer and their insurer and what they are willing to offer.

Your solicitor will let you know how long they think your claim will take.

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