Manual Handling Accidents

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Manual Handling Injuries

Some of the most common causes of workplace injuries are due to manual handling.

 

It is vital that good workplace procedures are set up to prevent injuries to workers through manual handling. Identifying hazards and ensuring good lifting technique for items which can be safely carried are good ways to prevent injuries. 

 

If workers need to do manual handling for their work, the following things may cause them strain. Look for these red flags and address them immediately with better procedures:

Heavy Lifting, Pushing, Pulling, or Gripping

Positions which are unnatural or awkward, such as over-reaching, arching and twisting, any activities which cause vibrations to the hands, arms or body repetitive or sustained movements the length of time workers must sustain tasks for (i.e. without taking a break)

 

If workers are undertaking manual tasks, they risk doing damage to their back. It is essential to have adequate safety procedures in place and to educate all workers on how to undertake their tasks safely.

Making A Claim

If you think you have a claim you will need expert legal advice from a firm of solicitors who are experienced in handling compensation claims for manual handling injuries.

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Where and in what jobs are the most common types of manual handling injuries sustained?

There are a number of different ways in which you can sustain such injuries.

The injuries generally come about from performing actions that involve:

  • Lifting
  • Pushing
  • Carrying
  • Lowering
  • Raising Items
  • Moving
  • Pulling

Because of this, some of the jobs /industries below are the most affected by manual handling injuries and these include those who work in:

  • Construction and Warehouse
  • Transportation and storage industries
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Human health and social work activities
  • Supermarkets
  • Offices
  • Shops
  • HGV workers
  • Stacking shelves
  • Fork lift driving duties
  • Order picking
  • Shelf stacking
  • Delivery drivers
  • School working
  • Hospital portering

 

How can your employers avoid being held to blame for these manual handling accidents?

In order to avoid their employees suffering from manual handling injuries, all employers must be able to prove that they have RISK ASSESSED the lifting pulling pushing task before it is completed.

These regulations that apply to this risk assessment are:

The Manual Handling Lifting Regulations.

Carrying out regular risk assessments that address all potential for harm in the workplace, including types of manual handling injuries that could occur.

The Management Regulations.

Your employer must give employees information about the risks that are in their workplace and how they will be protected, and in addition there must be instruction and training employees on how to avoid manual handling in the first place. This information has to be more than a quick verbal toolbox talk and usually has to be in writing.

In the case of manual handling, employers must take specific care to instruct their employees on the correct way to lift and move heavy loads, to avoid any potential musculoskeletal injuries. This should certainly be a priority for employers, as studies have estimated that these are some of the greatest risks to injury in the work place.

There is no higher or lower maximum weights involved but guidance is given generally with an ergonomic approach favoured by the courts.

Manual handling injuries cost businesses over 1 million working days every year.

The UK’s Health and Safety executive have in recent years reported that the British work force are losing more than 1.6 million working days due to manual injuries every year.

These injuries causing days lost are usually referred to as musculoskeletal disorders but they also include injuries such as strains, sprains, trapped fingers, cuts from sharp objects or any other injury arising from carrying, lifting, pulling or pushing heavy loads.

This staggering figure highlights illustrates the need for greater awareness surrounding our manual workforce culture and the importance of manual handling training along with general health and safety knowledge on both the employer’s and employee’s part.

Can I make a manual handling claim?

If you have injured yourself at work because of your employer’s inability to provide

the correct training, then you may be able to make a claim. We can help you to provide the right evidence to support your case and get the compensation that you deserve for your manual handling accident.

We are manual handling experts.

Our Solicitors have acted for the biggest unions in the country for may decades and have successfully ran many cases of this nature through the courts so we know what to expect.

We have over 60 years of experience.

If you can you should take photographs of any work equipment which gave rise to the manual handling injury. Take the details of any worker who saw your accident or who can confirm what you were doing at the time you were injured.

You wont know if you have a claim without the expert advice from Solicitors such as Faircloughs.

If your case has been turned down and closed previously call us to see if we can take the case on for you on a no win no fee basis.

How long will my manual handling injury claim take?

Every injury is different and recovery time is different from person to person.

We shall obtain the best expert medical evidence on your behalf and seek to recover your lost wages and a figure for pain and suffering to the maximum extent possible.

There are two parts to the process. These two stages are:

Firstly, it has to be determined who is responsible for your injury. In cases like this, your employer will most likely be responsible for your manual handling injury claim.

Secondly, the medical evidence from your injury must also be assessed in order to determine how it has affected you and therefore how much compensation you can claim.

If you require multiple medical assessments, then your overall claim time could potentially take longer. However, with the right legal assistance you can be sure your rights will be protected .

It is important that loss of wages and other expenses are recovered and we will move as quickly as possible but it takes time to ensure we recover the maximum on your behalf.

On average with an early admission of liability and modest /minor injury it takes up to 6-12 months but each case depends on its own facts and circumstances.

We operate on a no win no fee basis.

We do not charge insurance at the end of the case and the maximum you will pay

will be 25% of your Damages which is standard in Personal injury claims.

Safe use of ladders and step ladders whilst you are working

It is a myth to suggest that the use of ladders in the workplace is against health and safety. However, having said that the use of ladders without proper precaution, risk assessment and a planned working environment can subject the worker to a serious risk of injury.

Ladders therefore can be used for work at height when a risk assessment of the risks of carrying out a task has shown that using a ladder can offer a high level of fall protection. If the task requires staying up a leaning ladder or step ladder for more than 30 minutes at a time it is recommended by the health and safety executive that your employers use an alternative piece of work equipment.

Your employers are under a legal duty to adopt, maintain and enforce a safe system of work and/or safe place of employment at all times.

To use a ladder the employee must have been trained in its use and if necessary be working under the supervision of a competent person. Of course, competence has to be measured and this is the duty of the employer and competence can only be gained through a combination of training, practical and theoretical knowledge and experience.

The health and safety executive provide specific guidance on the use of ladders and step ladders and employers can check the HSE website in order to obtain appropriate health and safety advice and no cost at all.

By means of general guidance when using a ladder you should have access to the user instructions from the manufacturer in case you may need to refer to that at a later date.

A detailed check of the ladder needs to be made to ensure there are no visible defects and that the ladder is therefore safe to use. The following is a short checklist of precautions employers should take, as follows:

That the stiles are not bent or damaged

The feet – if they are missing, worn or damaged the ladder could slip. Employees should check the ladder feet when moving from soft or dirty ground to a smooth, solid surface to make sure the actual feet and not the dirt chippings etc are making contact with the ground before going up the ladder.

The rungs – if they are missing the ladder could fail.

Any locking mechanisms – do they work properly?

The step ladder platform – is it unstable and likely to collapse?

The steps or treads on step ladders – are they contaminated or slippery?

The above are only a short summary of what you should look for before working on a ladder.

Employers are under a duty under a work at height regulations to risk assess any work that they carry out.

There is also a general duty under the management regulations 1999 to carry out a risk assessment.

If you have been unfortunate to have an accident involving a ladder at work or a work accident of any kind then you can rely on over 60 years experience at Faircloughs Solicitors.

Contact Mark Johnson or Ken Fairclough on 01942 665 700 or 01942 724 928 or alternatively visit our website Faircloughs.net.

We work on a no win no fee basis. No win, no fee, no worries!

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