How Can Manual Handling Cause Back Injuries?

If you work in a job that involves lifting and moving heavy loads, you may wonder, how can manual handling cause back injuries? In this guide, we will look at the different industries in which manual handling can occur and the responsibilities owed by employers. 

how can manual handling cause back injuries

How can manual handling cause back injuries?

To begin, we will provide some examples of how back injuries might occur due to manual handling at work. Next, we will establish when a claim could be made.

You can supply evidence supporting a claim to add strength to your claim. Evidence is an important factor and we will look at the kinds of proof you can provide. 

This guide will then move on to compensation you may be entitled to. Our guide will provide a section addressing the two heads of claim you can potentially claim for and a table of compensation figures for relevant injuries. 

If you would like more information regarding claiming for a manual handling injury at work, please continue reading. You can also contact us for free with the details below; after speaking with an advisor, they may connect you to a solicitor from our panel if they believe you have a valid claim. 

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  1. How Can Manual Handling Cause Back Injuries At Work?
  2. Can You Claim For Manual Handling Back Injuries At Work? 
  3. How To Prove Workplace Manual Handling Injury Claims
  4. Compensation Settlements For Manual Handling Back Injuries
  5. Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Handle My Claim?
  6. Find Out More About Manual Handling Claims

How Can Manual Handling Cause Back Injuries At Work?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) workplace injury statistics, handling, lifting or carrying injuries make up 18% of all non-fatal workplace injuries reported by employers to the Health and Safety Executive, the second most common. In addition, back injuries consist of 42% of all reported musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. 

However, workplace injuries do not automatically entitle the injured party to claim. There are certain requirements that must be met to submit a valid claim. These will be discussed in the next section.

Employers must take reasonable and practicable steps to ensure their employees’ safety. Failure to do so may result in a back injury from lifting at work. 

When planning manual handling at work, employers should consider TILE: 

  • Task- An employer must consider the nature of the task, assess what is involved, and identify the level of risk. Employers are advised to reduce the risk factors as much as possible or find alternative ways of completing the task.
  • Individual- Employers should assess the ability of each individual and whether they’re suited to the task at hand. 
  • Load- Employers should consider the loads’ size, shape and weight, as well as whether the load contains any hazardous substances. Once the load has been assessed, employers should take the necessary precautions, such as providing adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to assist in handling the load.
  • Environment- The area the load is being manoeuvred through and towards should be considered. Factors such as flooring, lighting, and trip hazards can cause risks of further injury. It may be that the environment needs to be altered before the task can begin; for example, you might need to change where the load is stored.

Can You Claim For Manual Handling Back Injuries At Work?

You may be entitled to claim if you have suffered a manual handling injury at work. In order to establish eligibility to claim, it is vital that you can prove negligence was the cause of your injuries.

Employer negligence is simply a breach of a duty of care that results in an injury and consists of you proving that:

  • Firstly, you were owed a duty of care.
  • Secondly, there was a breach of this duty.
  • Thirdly, this breach caused your injury.

An employer’s duty of care is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; this states that an employer should take reasonable steps to prevent injury to their employees. Furthermore, employers must follow the guidance set out in the Manual Handling Operation Regulations 1992.

Manual Handling Claim Time Limits

You must also generally begin your manual handling claim within three years of the accident; this is outlined in The Limitation Act 1980. However, this is only the standard claim time limit and how long you have to claim may differ in exceptional circumstances. 

If you’d like to find out whether these exceptions apply in your circumstances, speak with a member of our team today.

How To Prove Manual Handling Injury Claims

Evidence is an important tool used to support your claim. Evidence can be used to prove the extent of your injury (including psychological injury), show that negligence occurred and prove any financial losses.

Here are some examples of evidence you could collect in support of your claim:

  • CCTV footage of the accident.
  • Training records.
  • A diary of your recovery.
  • Medical records.
  • Contact details of eyewitnesses so they can be approached for a statement.
  • Reporting an accident at work in the accident book.

One of the services our panel of solicitors provide is helping clients collect evidence for their claim. If you feel like you could benefit from their support, contact one of our friendly advisors for free. They may connect you to a solicitor from our panel.

Compensation Settlements For Manual Handling Back Injuries

Following a successful claim, compensation settlements may be made up of up to two heads of claim. One of the heads is general damages; this accounts for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.

Below, you will find a table of guideline compensation brackets for general damages. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a tool used to help solicitors value claims. 

Compensation Table

(i) Severe Back Injuries £91,090 to £160,980Severe pain and disability with a combination of serious symptoms.
(ii) Severe Back Injuries£74,160 to £88,430Injuries in this bracket will have special features that mean they don't fit in lower brackets; for example, impaired mobility and sexual difficulties.
(iii) Severe Back Injuries£38,780 to £69,730 Injuries resulting in chronic conditions where disabilities such as pain and impaired agility persist despite treatment.
(i) Moderate Back Injuries£27,760 to £38,780Compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae causing constant pain and discomfort, for example.
(ii) Moderate Back Injuries£12,510 to £27,760Injuries giving rise to backache or prolonged acceleration of pre-existing condition.
(i) Minor Back Injuries£7,890 to £12,510 Full recovery without surgery takes place between 2-5 years.
(ii) Minor Back Injuries£4,350 to £7,890Full recovery without surgery takes place within 1 to 2 years.
(iii) Minor Back Injuries£2,450 to £4,350Full recovery without surgery takes place between 3 months to a year.
(iv) Minor Back InjuriesUp to £2,450Full recovery within 3 months.
(ii) Severe Neck Injuries£65,740 to £130,930Damage to discs in the cervical spine giving rise to severe disabilities.

Please note that the figures in this table are guidelines. You are not guaranteed the amounts within this table because each claim is unique and will have factors that affect the compensation award.

Can I Claim For Financial Losses?

The other potential head of claim is special damages; this accounts for the financial losses incurred due to your injury. Here are some examples of special damages you could claim for:

You can provide evidence, such as payslips and receipts, to support a claim for special damages. 

Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Handle My Claim?

No Win No Fee solicitors can offer representation under Conditional Fee Agreements that offer claimants a range of benefits.

For instance, there will be no upfront costs to begin your claim, and you will usually not be charged for any of your solicitor’s services whilst the claim is in process.

Usually, you will only be charged if your claim is successful; this will be a minor success fee that’s made up of a small percentage of your compensation award. The success fee is legally capped by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, so you won’t be overcharged.

If you want to start a manual handling claim for a back injury, contact one of our advisors for free today. They may connect you to a manual handling claims solicitor from our panel.

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Find Out More About Manual Handling Claims

If you still have questions, such as how can manual handling cause back injuries? These further resources may help with your manual handling claim.

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Written by MWH

Edited by FS

This entry was posted in Manual Handling Claims on by .

About Ed McIntosh

Ed is a specialist in legal content here at Legal Helpline. Having studied law for a number of years, he worked as a lawyer specialising in personal injury claims, notably accidents at work. He decided to go into a different side of the industry and now enjoys helping clients get the best legal representation possible. When not working Ed, loves to go skiing and has a thing for spicy foods.