If a manual handling injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Injuries from manual handling at work, such as lifting or carrying, can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Compensation claims often pay for for medical treatment, physical therapy, and lost wages if the injury results in time off work.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a manual handling accident, we can help. If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Most workers perform manual handling tasks in their jobs, with some doing so daily. While many lift and carry items without issue, others aren't as fortunate, sustaining muscle or joint injuries to arms, legs, or back. In some cases, manual handling accidents can lead to serios injuries.
According to the Labour Force Survey, nearly 0.5 million workers are suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.
Handling, lifting and carrying incidents account for 17% of injuries in the workplace (hse.gov.uk).
It is thought that many manual handling accidents are not reported, so these figures may represen a fraction of the actual number of people injured each year.
Am I eligible for manual handling injury compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Can I make a claim even if I'm partly liable?
Pinpointing liability for an accident will depend on the context, with different legal principles applying to different circumstances.
In our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers felt they were at least partly responsible for their accident or injuries.
Your claim could still be possible if your actions contributed to your injury. Employers may be also be held responsible under vicarious liability for injuries caused by employees, making a claim possible if you or a colleague caused the accident.
How much compensation can I claim for a manual handling injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Manual handling injury
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of earnings, including potential lost commission, bonuses or promotions, or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your manual handling injury, including physiotherapy, pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication.
The psychological consequences of workplace injuries
If you have suffered psychological harm as a result of an accident at work, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey shows how prevalent psychological injuries are in the workplace. 25.03% of claimants report suffering a psychological injury, 62.38% of which were related to a physical injury.
These injuries can lead to chronic stress and anxiety, especially related to lifting or physical labour, and depression linked to chronic pain.
Psychiatric injuries can negatively affect your physical recovery and hinder your return to work. Fearing stigma or a disregard of their mental health issues, some employees are reluctant to voice their concerns.
Considering the potential for psychological harm following a traumatic incident at work is critical. Diagnosable psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation awards, and it is appropriate to include the cost of mental health treatment and support when calculating your compensation.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
How we have helped others
We help employees seek financial compensation and rehabilitation support when injured in the workplace through no fault of their own. Our network of expert personal injury solicitors have advised clients who have suffered a range of manual handling injuries, including:
- back injuries
- muscular injuries to upper/lower limbs
- breaks and fractures
- worsening of existing medical conditions, aggravated by a manual handling accident
- severe internal injury.
Our clients include workers employed at building sites, factories, warehouses, farms, hospitals and offices.
Who can make a claim?
If an employee is injured in the last 3 years as a result of manual handling, he or she may be eligible to make a compensation claim.
To win a claim, the claimant's solicitor will need to establish 'causation', meaning that their client's injuries result from the manual handling accident.
The solicitor will also need to establish that the defendant (the employer) was legally responsible for the manual handling accident.
Who can I claim against?
Manual handling claims may be brought against the claimant's employer or former employer.
Employers are required by law to carry valid Employer's Liability insurance to cover employees if they are involved in a workplace accident. Typically, the insurance company will pay the compensation award.
In most cases, a claim may still be brought against the insurance company even if the employer or former employer has ceased trading.
Is my employer liable?
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were created to protect workers from injury caused by lifting and other manual handling activities. They impose a duty of care on employers to prevent harm, suffering and injury to employees while manually handling goods and equipment.
Specifically, an employer must:
- fully assess the work task
- eliminate any manual handling that is not necessary
- carry out a risk assessment on any hazardous manual handling task that cannot be avoided
- reduce the risk of injury as much as possible, for example, by providing suitable lifting equipment such as a sack trolley or hoist, and providing proper training.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
Suitable manual handling PPE might include gloves, foot protection, non-slip footwear.
If you are injured in a manual handling accident at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.
Employers' liability claims claims
Work accident claims, or employers' liability claims, differ from other types of claim. Click on the icons below to read more about claiming:
How we can help you with your work accident claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.