A Guide To Manual Handling Claims

By Cat Stardew. Last Updated 17th July 2023. In this guide, we will be discussing manual handling claims. The risks of manual handling, if not properly mitigated, can potentially result in employee injury. If this is the case for you, and you have suffered injuries from manual handling because your employer did not adhere to health and safety legislation, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

Manual handling claims

Manual handling injury claims

As we move through this guide, we’ll explain the steps your employer should take to mitigate risks in the workplace, and when you may be eligible to claim compensation for a manual handling injury if they have failed to do so. Alongside this, we’ll talk briefly about the legislation in place to ensure your health and safety in the workplace.

You may be wondering how much compensation you could receive for a successful manual handling claim. Our guide details the different heads of claim that you could pursue and how legal professionals value these heads.

Finally, our guide will explore the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel and how they could help you seek compensation. Our panel of solicitors have years of experience in personal injury law and may be able to help you through the manual handling claims process on a No Win No Fee basis.

To get started, contact one of our friendly advisors today. To do so, you can:

Jump To A Section

  1. Common Causes Of Manual Handling Injuries
  2. Other Common Causes Of Injuries From Manual Handling
  3. Can I Refuse To Lift Heavy Objects At Work?
  4. Long Term Issues Manual Handling Injuries Can Cause
  5. Starting A Manual Handling Claim
  6. Manual Handling Claims – Example Compensation Payouts
  7. Manual Handling – No Win No Fee Claims
  8. Helpful Resources And Links

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.

Can I Refuse To Lift Heavy Objects At Work?

From a legal standpoint, you are allowed to refuse to lift heavy objects at work if you have a valid reason for this decision. If your employer has failed to provide you with adequate information and training to carry out a manual lifting task, then this could put you at risk of common manual handling injuries. You could refuse to carry out the task if your employer has failed to fulfil the duty of care which they owe you.

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.

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.

Severe Back Injury (i)The spinal cord and nerve roots have been severely damaged which results in immense pain with potential incomplete paralysis.£91,090 to £160,980
Moderate Back Injury (i)Constant pain and discomfort in the back due to a crush or compression fracture.£27,760 to £38,780
Minor Back Injury (i)An injury such as a sprain, strain, disc prolapse of soft tissue injury that fully recovers within 2-5 years.£7,890 to £12,510
Moderate Foot InjuryContinuing symptoms and a permanent deformity causes by displaced metatarsal fractures.£13,740 to £24,990
Wrist InjuryA less severe wrist injury that causes persisting pain and stiffness.£12,590 to £24,500
Wrist InjuryA soft tissue injury or fracture that takes over a year to completely recover.£6,080 to £10,350
HerniaThe person will experience continuing pain and there will be a limitation on employment and physical activities after the hernia is repaired.£14,900 to £24,170
Serious Toe InjuryMultiple toes have been fractured or the big toe has been crushed which causes pain and discomfort.£9,600 to £13,740
Moderate Shoulder InjuryFrozen shoulder and movement limitations for up to two years. Pain and suffering present but not permanent.£7,890 to £12,770
Minor Shoulder Injury (i)A soft tissue injury that causes significant pain but will fully recover within 2 years.£4,350 to £7,890

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.

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.

We hope you have found this guide helpful. If you would like to speak to an advisor about manual handling claims or other types of accident at work claims, then please contact Legal Helpline online or on the phone today.