Accident Advice Helpline commissioned a survey with OnePoll to ask consumers whether they believed they could make a compensation claim for a number of different accident scenarios. Of the 1000 people surveyed 46 per cent of them were unaware that you could claim compensation for back injuries caused by lifting at work.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (which was amended in 2002) was designed to protect employees from injuries caused by manual handling in the workplace. Manual handling covers not just lifting but carrying, lowering, pushing and pulling; and back injuries are the most common cause of manual handling injuries.
More than a third of all accidents resulting in the injured person being absent from work for more than 3 days are related to manual handling at work. Accident Advice Helpline said “This research highlights a worrying gap in the knowledge people have regarding compensation meaning that many injury victims are probably not being compensated correctly.”
Your back is a delicate part of your body with your spinal cord running down the middle carrying signals back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body. An injury can disrupt these signals or dislocate vertebrae which are the bone disks that make up your spine and sometimes it doesn’t take much to hurt it.
Accident Advice Helpline said “Back injuries can be life-changing and result in a lack of movement; even if just for a small length of time. You could be lucky and just need some rest to recover from your injury but it could end up being more serious and potentially life-long.”
An employer should carry out a risk assessment of all manual handling which could be eliminated and which may cause an injury and should provide adequate health and safety support on how to carry out lifting tasks properly and avoid injury.
Employers are obliged to provide the correct equipment to prevent injury and harm alongside training so it’s imperative as an employee that this advice is followed and equipment used correctly. Training can include good lifting postures, the use of lifting equipment and guidance for managing heavy and awkward loads.
If you do injure yourself the first thing you should do is report it to a senior member of staff or a manager and get it reported in your accident book. Once this is done it’s extremely important to seek medical advice about your injury as your back is a complicated part of your body, and one wrong turn could be life changing.
If you’ve injured your back due to lifting at work then you may be thinking about claiming compensation. Remember with all compensation claims against your place of work you aren’t claiming directly from your employer – you’re claiming from their insurance – so there’s no need to feel guilty.
If you plan on putting in a compensation claim then make sure you pick the right solicitor. You should speak to Accident Advice Helpline’s expertly trained staff on 0800 689 0500 where they can talk you through the process of claiming.
Date Published: November 24, 2014
Author: David Brown