Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just workers in construction, agriculture, and warehousing who face manual handling injuries. Manual handling doesn’t just involve lifting and carrying heavy objects, but also pushing, pulling, and physically handling in any way. This means that anyone who has a physical aspect to their job is at risk of a manual handling injury, and anyone who has to do anything physical should be properly trained in the correct procedure for the task.
Which professions are at risk for manual handling injuries?
It may surprise you to know that even office workers are at risk of manual handling injuries if they sometimes have to carry large piles of documents, boxes, or electrical equipment. In fact almost every profession involves some kind of manual handling, which means that everyone is at risk.
Because your employer has a duty to keep you safe at work according to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, you must be trained in the correct procedures for any manual handling tasks that are part of your duties. If you have to use a floor polisher, for example, you should be trained on exactly how to use that polisher so as not to put excessive strain on any part of your body. If you need to lift heavy boxes (even occasionally), you should be trained on how to lift with your knees bent and back straight in order to avoid chronic back pain. It’s also worth noting that if there is a machine that can perform a manual task, this should always be used instead of human labour.
What to do if you have injured yourself while manual handling at work
If you have injured yourself while using manual handling at work, you may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation. This is only the case, however, if it can be shown that your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. If you have been shown the correct training procedures, for example, it is your duty to then use them.
If you’d like to discuss your own personal situation with an expert, call our trained advisors at Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to tell you whether it is likely that your injury was caused by employer negligence, and how much compensation you could potentially receive. If you decide to go ahead with a claim, it will usually be done over the telephone and on a ‘no win, no fee*’ basis. Call Accident Advice Helpline free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: November 25, 2013
Author: David Brown