Manual handling accidents cover a wide range of injuries at work. Accounting for approximately 33 per cent of workplace injuries, handling is the most common cause of injuries by work accident. Injuries received by handling accidents typically occur through carrying, lifting, pulling or pushing heavy loads incorrectly and include:
- Cuts (sharp objects)
- Trapped limbs
- Back injuries of varying degrees
Statistics of manual handling accidents at work
According to Health and Safety statistics for 2011/12, during this period, 30,663 workers suffered work handling injuries, 90 per cent of which required three days or more for recovery. Around 10 per cent of all major injuries at work were due to handling.
Common manual handling accidents
HSE statistics also revealed that lifting/ putting down loads accounted for 26 per cent of all handling injuries during 2011/12. Carrying, handling or lifting heavy loads in unspecified/ unknown ways accounted for 19 per cent of such workplace injuries, followed closely by pushing and/ or pulling loads (17 per cent of manual handling injuries at work).
Cuts resulting from trapped fingers or coarse/ sharp materials accounted for 12 per cent of manual handling injuries in the workplace. Body movements resulting in strains or sprains (whether loads were involved or not) made up 11 per cent of injuries by handling accident.
Other work related handling injuries were caused by manually handling/ supporting a person (10 per cent); carrying loads (five per cent) and handling/ transferring people using equipment (two per cent).
Major handling injuries at work
In terms of major injuries, percentages per type of accident of all major handling injuries look as follows:
- Carrying, handling or lifting heavy loads in unspecified/ unknown ways – 26 per cent
- Pulling/ pushing loads – 22 per cent
- Lifting/ putting down loads – 16 per cent
- Cuts- trapped fingers – 16 per cent
- Manually handling/ supporting people – Nine per cent
- Carrying loads – Eight per cent
- Sprains/ strains with/ without load – Four per cent
- Handling/ transferring people with equipment – One per cent
Handling injuries –Three days and over
Statistics also show the following percentages for three-day-plus injuries by handling:
- Lifting/ putting down loads – 26 per cent
- Carrying, handling or lifting heavy loads in unspecified/ unknown ways – 18 per cent
- Pulling/ pushing loads – 16 per cent
- Cuts- trapped fingers – 12 per cent
- Sprains/ strains with/ without load – 11 per cent
- Manually handling/ supporting people – 10 per cent
- Carrying loads – Four per cent
- Handling/ transferring people with equipment – Two per cent
Claiming work injury compensation
If you suffered a handling injury at work, it is possible that you may be able to claim compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline to find out. The free-phone number is available 24/7 and advisers are friendly, experienced and helpful. Initial advice is free and confidential, so call free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.