Manual Handling Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Stephen Bishop. Last updated 13th July 2022. Welcome to our manual handling claims guide, where we’ll look at manual handling accidents and how to get compensation for them. If you have been injured due to a manual handling accident and it wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make a manual handling claim for compensation.

Manual handling accidents can occur after doing any of a number of different movements to move an item such as lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying, twisting, raising or lowering. Often the item being moved is heavy and therefore poses an injury risk when being handled manually. Depending on the circumstances, when someone develops a manual handling injury, it may be possible to make a compensation claim if someone else was to blame.

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Manual handling claims guide

This manual handling claims guide has been developed to give anyone who has sustained a manual handling injury some insight as to what’s involved when making a claim. The guide includes information such as what is classed as a manual handling accident, the type of injuries that can occur, what to do if you have been injured due to a manual handling accident, how to start your compensation for an injury claim and so on. What’s more, we’ll also address the question of ‘how often do you need manual handling training?’, which is commonly asked by claimants.

Manual handling claims

Manual handling injury claims

Also included is how to make a claim as an employee of the defendant, or as a member of the general public. We also outline what items can be included in your claim that will go towards the final settlement amount giving you the best chance of receiving the maximum amount possible. We have included a table that shows some average compensation payout amounts for certain injuries commonly associated with manual handling accident claims to give an idea of the amount you could possibly award.

Manual handling accident compensation claims can be complicated and so by reading through the guide, you will have a better understanding of what is involved when making a manual handling injury claim. Please don’t hesitate to contact Legal Helpline for further assistance.

Manual handling accident and injury statistics

The statistics are shown by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the number of manual handling accidents there is each year, prove that manual handling injuries are a serious issue in the UK. In fact, according to an HSE report, manual handling is one of the biggest causes of people sustaining work-related musculoskeletal injuries.

In 2020, 480,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders were reported that year, with the most common cause attributed to manual handling. These injuries amounted to an average of around 8.9 million working days lost as a result. The most commonly impacted bodily part was the back, with agricultural, construction and social care workers sustaining the most injuries of this type.

Common causes of manual handling injuries

A manual handling injury may be sustained when someone attempts to lift or move something only using their hands. Many manual handling accidents occur in the workplace and can be due to a variety of different causes. Often, these injuries result in manual handling claims.The most common causes of suffering from a manual handling injury are:

  • Lifting – Lifting an item that is too heavy is probably the most common out of all the possible causes.
  • Reaching and Lifting – Trying to lift or move an item that is too out of reach to do it safely.
  • Repetitive Movements – Consistently lifting and moving items in a repetitive movement whilst using poor technique and having an incorrect posture.
  • Lowering, Pushing and Carrying – Having poor posture and using the incorrect technique will more than likely result in an injury.

These types of accidents can happen in a variety of different environments, but often occur more so in care homes, warehouses and places of manual labour such as on building sites or in factories.

Other common causes of injuries from manual handling

Although lifting, moving, pushing, carrying and lowering objects are the most common causes of manual handling accidents, there are a number of other reasons as to why an injury may occur, such as:

  • Not enough breaks – When there is little or no break given whilst someone is undertaking physical activity, the chance of incidents involving injury increases.
  • Slips, trips and falls – If someone is handling an object in an environment where the floor is slippery, possibly due to a spillage or wet weather conditions etc, or where the area they are working is cluttered, they will be more likely to sustain an injury if they have a slip, trip or fall accident.
  • Correct equipment – When a job requires very heavy or large objects to be lifted, in order to adhere to health and safety regulations, lifting equipment, such as forklift trucks, or hoists, may be required. If these are not provided or are faulty, you will be at an increased risk of sustaining an injury.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a safe working environment and to ensure they provide the correct equipment to carry out certain tasks safely. Equipment should also be regularly maintained. Also, it is their responsibility to make sure that their staff are sufficiently and adequately trained in the proper lifting and handling techniques where necessary to reduce the chances of injury.

If your employer has been negligent in their duty of care and you sustain an injury, then you may be eligible to make a manual handling accident claim against them for compensation.

Manual handling injuries typically seen in the workplace

There are a number of different injuries that may be sustained in the workplace due to incorrect manual handling. Commonly though, back injuries and muscle sprains and strains are seen most frequently in workplace manual handling claims.

If you have been injured due to manual handling and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a manual handling accident claim. Call Legal Helpline for expert help and advice on how to make a manual handling injury compensation claim.

Injuries caused by lifting

Trying to lift awkward and heavy objects, particularly if done on a regular basis, can eventually lead to manual handling accidents if precautions are not taken. Attempting to lift these types of objects when the correct equipment has not been provided, or insufficient or even no manual handling training has been given, can greatly increase the chances of injury.

Your employer has a responsibility to you as their employee to provide and maintain the correct lifting equipment for the task in hand if required and to also provide adequate correct lifting and handling techniques in accordance with government health and safety regulations and guidelines. If they fail to do this and you become injured, then they can be held accountable for the breach of their duty of care and be sued for workplace accident compensation. However, if they have acted correctly in their responsibilities and followed the regulations to the letter, then it will be harder to prove their liability for your injury.

If you have been injured due to a manual handling accident but are unsure of whether you have a legitimate cause to make a manual handling accident claim, please call us at Legal Helpline and we can talk through what happened with you so that we can help to determine who is liable.

Manual handling back injury claims

The back is actually the most common area of the body to become injured due to manual handling. Also, it is the most debilitating as an injured back can result in difficulty walking and making general everyday movements, it can be the cause of chronic pain, and can also leave a person paralysed. Having an injured back will affect all areas of a person’s life and make it very hard to carry on with normal day to day tasks and pursuits. This in turn can then also lead to other problems such as depression.

When making manual handling claims, it is important to remember that your employer has a duty of care by law to ensure your safety at work and carry out reasonably possible measures to prevent you from harm. If they fail to follow health and safety procedures, such as providing the correct and working lifting equipment, or have failed to provide you with training on correct lifting and handling techniques, they could be liable for your injury and sued for compensation.

Back injury compensation payouts can run into the thousands depending on the severity of the injury and its effect on the claimant’s everyday life and well- being, and so if you have injured your back due to manual handling and you think it was due to your employer’s negligence, get in touch with Legal Helpline today so that we can get you the compensation you deserve.

Muscle sprain and strain injuries from manual handling

Much the same as back injuries, muscle sprains and strains commonly occur in the workplace. Muscle sprain and strain injuries are usually caused by over-pulling and twisting the tendons around the muscles, often aggravated by repetitive motions. Muscle sprains and strains can happen over a period of time or can happen all of a sudden. If it happens all of a sudden it is generally because the muscle has been overworked.

Due to muscles regularly being put under pressure when used for repetitive movements, such as lifting and moving objects, these types of injuries are common in the workplace.

In most circumstances, the liability for such injuries usually lies with the employer as they are required, as already mentioned, to provide a safe working environment for their staff. If you have been injured whilst at work, you could be owed compensation.

Manual handling accidents involving care workers

Sustaining a manual handling injury whilst working in the healthcare industry is very common. The constant need to lift and manoeuver patients and residents can put a lot of strain on the healthcare worker’s body if the proper manual handling techniques are not used. Common manual handling accidents among healthcare workers result in strained muscles, torn ligaments, lower back pain and disc degeneration amongst other things.

When working in the healthcare industry, you should be provided by your employer with adequate and sufficient training in manual handling techniques and also be provided with lifting hoists to use as and when required. Sadly this often isn’t the case though and so workers become injured unnecessarily.

If you have suffered a manual handling injury that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for injury.

Claiming compensation due to insufficient training

If you work in an industry where manual handling is required, regardless of the frequency, and you haven’t received the correct training, or the training you received was insufficient, then if you sustain an injury as a result, you will in most circumstances be able to make a compensation claim.

Feel free to ring Legal Helpline to discuss your case so that we can hopefully clarify who is liable for your injury.

Claiming compensation as an employee

As we’ve already stressed, your employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This includes providing sufficient equipment and training to ensure you can carry out the tasks expected of you in a safe manner. Risk assessments should also have been carried out to make sure that provisions are put in place to reduce the occurrence of any risks found. If your employer breaches their legal duty of care to follow the Health and Safety rules and regulations and you become injured as a result, then you will have a legitimate cause to claim compensation and proving their liability will only strengthen your case.

In order to make a successful claim, we would recommend you speak to a specialist personal injury claims firm to discuss your circumstances.

Claiming compensation as a member of the public

Manual handling claims can also be made if a member of the public sustains a manual handling injury, but in order to determine who is liable for the injury, the location where the accident occurred needs to be taken into account.

Regardless of whether the accident took place in a shop, club, sporting arena, pub or anywhere else, compensation may possibly be claimed from the owner or occupier of the building where the incident causing injury took place. The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 states that the owner of the building or the occupier of the building, are legally required to take measures in order for visitors to their property to remain safe at all times. If you feel they have breached this legal responsibility resulting in your manual handling injury, then you may be eligible to make a manual handling injury claim.

Long term issues manual handling injuries can cause

Manual handling accidents don’t just result in injuries that affect the victim there and then but often cause long term pain and suffering. Often, the effects can be permanent, having a serious negative impact on their life. In such cases, manual handling claims can help compensate any of this damage.

Long term problems associated with manual handling accidents are:

  • Debilitating pain.
  • Psychological damage.
  • Severe physical injury that results in the victim having to alter the way they live their life.
  • Earning potential may be reduced or even ceased.
  • The victim may not be able to continue with their chosen career.

The severity of the injury and the long term prognosis will be the main items that determine the amount of compensation awarded and so it is really important to make sure that a thorough medical examination is carried out to assess the extent of the injury and its effects. It’s also worth having a second examination a few weeks after the initial injury if you are still experiencing problems to diagnose any continuing or new complaints that have occurred as a result of the initial injury.

Generally speaking, higher compensation awards are given to those with the most severe symptoms and problems. Having a proper and thorough assessment to determine the severity of your injury will often mean that you see other medical professionals other than your regular GP who specialises in the area specific to your injury. For example, a back injury may be referred to a physiotherapist who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries and so can make a thorough assessment of the extent of your injury. It’s always also worth getting a second opinion from a different GP, this is something our firm can help with as we can arrange a free local medical for you. In order to get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve, it is important to assess the severity of your injury and any long term effects.

Starting a manual handling claim

Before starting manual handling claims, there are a number of steps you can take to begin to build some evidence that supports your claim. Once you have the initial evidence, you can then start to build on your case using the evidence as to the initial foundations of your claim. Proving liability is a must for a successful claim, so adhering to as many of the following steps as possible will help do this.

  • Photos – If possible, take photos of where the accident took place and of the situation that resulted in the accident. Also, take photos of any visible injuries as proof of your pain and suffering.
  • Medical Report – See a medical professional before doing anything else. This is certainly most important for your health and to ensure you receive treatment as soon as possible. But also, as mentioned above, a thorough assessment of your injury is very important in determining the amount of compensation you should be awarded.
  • Witnesses – Gather the contact details of any witnesses so that a statement may be obtained if necessary to support your claim. Witness statements are often worth their weight in gold in these types of cases.
  • Expenses – Keep any receipts and evidence of expenses incurred as a direct result of your injury.

Once you have gathered as much of the initial evidence as you possibly can, contact a legal firm such as ours for professional help and advice.

If you choose to contact our firm, Legal Helpline, we will initially offer you a free consultation so we can gather all the facts about your case. This also provides a chance for you to ask any questions you may have regarding manual handling accidents, manual handling claims and the like.

Once we have all of the facts, we can decide if you have a legitimate case, and if so we will offer to take your case on for you on a no win no fee basis. If we don’t feel you have a legitimate case, or that it is unlikely to be successful, we will always be honest and tell you.

With your agreement, we can then begin to dig deeper and gather more evidence in support of your claim and start to build a strong winning case. We may also offer you a free, local medical if we feel it could be of benefit.

Manual handling claims – example compensation payouts

There are a number of components that make up the final settlement amount awarded when making manual handling claims. The main components are:

  • General Damages – These are in relation to the pain and suffering you have endured at the time of and since the initial injury. The severity of the injury both physically and mentally and any short and long term effects determine the amount awarded.
  • Medical Expenses – Any expenses incurred such as prescription fees or private medical care costs for example, as a direct result of your injury can be included in your claim. Make sure to keep all receipts as evidence.
  • Travel Costs – As with medical expenses, any travel expenses incurred as a direct result of your injury can be included. This also includes extra costs such as vehicle adaptions or the purchase of a specialised disability vehicle.
  • Care Claim – If you have needed help whilst you recover, the person helping you can make a claim too.
  • Loss of Earnings – Make a note of any loss of earnings or potential future earnings as a direct result of your injury as this can be included.

As you can see, there is more than just the physical injury itself that affects the final settlement amount of compensation to be given, and most of these things are unique to the claimant and their individual circumstances. Therefore, we’d be lying if we told you exactly what you would receive if your case was successful as it would be impossible to know at this stage.

However, we can provide some compensation brackets for certain injuries commonly associated with manual handling claims. The brackets are based on the 2022 version of the Judicial College Guidelines, which solicitors may use to help calculate the value of your injuries. Don’t worry if your manual handling injury is not listed below. If you get in touch with our advisors, we can potentially provide a compensation estimate that reflects the details of your case.

Reason for CompensationAverage Payout AmountComments
Severe back injury (i)£91,090 to £160,980Long term or permanent pain with loss of mobility or some paralysis and disability.
Moderate Back Injury (i)£27,760 to £38,780Less severe than above, but constant pain and suffering, limited movement and surgery possibly being required.
Minor Back Injury (i)£7,890 to £12,510The level of pain, suffering and long term effects will be considered. Time it has taken to improve and long term prognosis taken into account.
Severe Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)£52,500 to £84,010Constant pain and suffering resulting in reduced ability to work, help from carers required, psychological problems often present as a result. Prognosis is poor.
Moderate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)£28,030 to £52,500Less severe than above but still very debilitating although prognosis is slightly better.
Moderate shoulder Injury£7,890 to £12,770Frozen shoulder and movement limitations for up to two years. Pain and suffering present but not permanent.
Minor Shoulder Injury (i)£4,350 to £7,890The level of award will be determined by length of symptoms and long term prognosis.
Mental Anguish£4,670Fear of impending death and sudden reduced expectation of life.

As you can see, the more severe injuries attract the larger compensation settlement amounts and so getting a medical assessment is so important when determining the amount of compensation you deserve.

Manual handling no win no fee claims

At Legal Helpline, we offer a no win no fee service. This basically means that you will not be required to pay any of our legal fees if we do not win your case for you. We will only take payment if we win your case and this is taken as a small percentage of your compensation award amount.

Manual handling claims may take several months at least to come to a conclusion resulting in some very large legal fees. We understand that not everyone is in the financial situation where they can afford to pay on-going legal fees over several months especially if they are unable to work due to their injury, and with no guarantee of a win until the end, paying for a personal injury claims solicitor could have devastating consequences of the claimant’s finances if they were to lose, or the claimant could even run out of available money before the case even comes to an end and then having to abandon their claim after having spent all their money. When using a pay as you go solicitor, you are taking a huge gamble with your finances.

With our no win no fee service, there are no up-front costs, and there is certainly no financial gamble.

How Legal Helpline can help you claim compensation

At Legal Helpline, we offer one of the best legal services in the personal injury claims industry you will find. Our team has years of experience that put together with their professionalism, honesty, friendliness, reliability and hard-working nature makes them a very successful team that will always put their clients first. If you choose Legal Helpline to fight for your compensation on your behalf, you can rest assured that they will work tirelessly and do their utmost to get you the compensation you deserve.

Manual Handling Claims FAQs

Here are some brief answers to frequently asked questions on manual handling claims.

What is the most common injury caused by poor manual handling?

As mentioned above, the most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries is manual handling. For example, lifting heavy loads without proper training on how to do so safely.

What weight can you lift at work?

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 2002 do not set out any specific weight limits for manual handling in the workplace, therefore recommendations should simply be used as guidance.

Call Legal Helpline today

Regardless of whether you are just looking for some free help and advice, or whether you are considering hiring a legal team to make a compensation claim on your behalf, call Legal Helpline today on 0161 696 9685. A member of our team will answer your call and endeavour to help you as best they can.

Helpful resources and links

Manual handling guide – government pdf

This gives guidance on manual handling and what you should do to prevent accident s from occurring.

Back pain – NHS

This is the NHS guide on back pain, what may cause it, how to prevent it and treatments and much more.

Thanks for reading our manual handling claims guide.