Heavy Lifting Injuries At Work

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Heavy lifting and manual handling accidents are a major cause of workplace injuries in the UK and can lead to compensation claims if the injury has resulted, even in part, due to negligence on behalf of the employer.

Employers have a duty to exercise risk assessments, ensure adequate training and not to impose dangerous heavy lifting work on employees if they are not fit for the job or already struggling with an injury.

Heavy lifting accidents often fall into the category of manual handling injuries, manual handling being the term to describe a wide variety of work-related tasks, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying and moving. Even holding or restraining something when an injury is caused can be classed as a heavy lifting injury. That something can be an object or an animal or a person.

Although back injuries are the most common type of injury resulting from heavy lifting or handling accidents, of the type which result in work injury compensation claims, other injuries can also occur, including cuts, fractures, muscle and tendon damage to the hands and other parts of the body; as well as heart problems.

If you need advice about an injury you have suffered while carrying a large load at work you can speak to Aim Accident Management in confidence. We offer No Win No Fee agreements on all work injury compensation claims and our solicitors have special experience and a successful track record delivering compensation settlements for the victims of heavy lifting injuries.

Types of Heavy Lifting and Manual Handling Accidents

Heavy Lifting & Manual Handling Accident Statistics

  • More than a third of all injuries reported each year requiring more than three days to recover are caused by manual handling accidents, involving heavy lifting and the transportation or supporting of loads manually (41 per cent).
  • More than one million people each year in Great Britain suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused or made worse by their current or past work.
  • In one year an estimated 12.3 million working days was lost due to work-related MSDs.
  • Every year about 50 people are killed, and there are more than 1,500 major injury accidents.
  • Every year about 3,500 injuries cause people to be off work for more than three days, involving lifting and workplace transportation.
  • Many accidents occur during routine lifts when staff assumed they knew the accident risks involved.
  • While the most common cause of major injury at work is slips and trips – 37 per cent of major injuries, being injured while handling, lifting or carrying is the next biggest cause of major injuries in the UK, accounting for 14 per cent of major injuries.

Reasons For Heavy Lifting and Manual Handling Injuries

Types of Lifting Injuries Leading to Compensation Claims

Manual handling injuries occur routinely in all workplaces from offices to banks, farms, factories, building sites, warehouses, hospitals, laboratories and shops and supermarkets.

Heavy workloads, awkward postures, heavy or burdensome materials handling, and previous or existing injuries are all factors which add to the risk of heavy lifting injuries.

Employment regulations require employers to ensure employees avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable; and also assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling; and also reduce the risk of injury from that potentially dangerous manual handling or lifting so far as is reasonably practicable.

Sometimes simple equipment like gloves or the encouragement of adequate breaks is all that is needed to prevent an injury from a heavy lifting exercise.

In other cases, injuries sometimes occur when an employee is asked to lift a heavy object when a tool or a machine could have best been utilised.

If a lack of duty of care with regard to such matters can be shown then a case for a heavy lifting compensation claim can be made.

Heavy Lifting Injury Prevention Tips

Heavy Lifting Advice Guide

Basic injury prevention advice with regards to heavy lifting includes:

  • Planning the lifting operation carefully based on sound best practice.
  • Weighing up any risks and acting accordingly.
  • Using lifting equipment, if required.
  • Using equipment effectively.
  • Sound maintenance of lifting gear.
  • Good communication amongst colleagues.
  • Clear plans and implementation.
  • Adequate training.
  • Involving experienced personnel as appropriate.
  • Effective management of the situation. An experienced person in charge.

Basically, think carefully and plan the lift, use sensible tools and only take on realistic loads; and rest when required, based on the needs of the person who requires the rest, not the majority of workers involved in the lift.

Other best practice to prevent heavy lifting injuries includes removing obstructions and keeping a tidy work environment.

Injury Prevention Advice

Guide to Injury Prevention During Heavy Lifting

Basic advice for safe heavy lifting during the lift includes:

  • Get a good hold
  • Bend knees if required but never the back
  • Avoid twisting the back
  • Keep the load close to the waist
  • Keep the load close to the body for as long as possible
  • Adopt a stable body position and foot posture
  • Wear loose appropriate clothing
  • Maintain an upright straight posture including shoulders
  • Keep the head up
  • Move smoothly and carefully
  • Avoid jerking, snatching or sudden movements
  • Rest when required and reposition if necessary
  • Never lift or handle more than can be easily managed
  • Ask for help if you need it

Making A Claim For Heavy Lifting Injury Compensation

Lifting and Manual Handling Compensation Claims

If your work has involved heavy lifting and you have been injured as a result and you feel you have not received basic lifting training, as above, you could have a cast iron case for heavy lifting injury compensation.

And no matter what your reason for your injury at work, and the type of injury, if you feel you were injured, even partly due to no fault of your own, it is advisable to speak to a professional solicitor in the work injury field who will advise you on your eligibility for a claim.

A work injury solicitor can also guide through the heavy lifting injury compensation claims process. Why not speak to an injury solicitor today with experience of successful work injury manual handling and heavy lifting compensation claims?