Manual handling refers to the lifting, lowering, raising, pushing and carrying of loads and items. If done improperly, it can cause serious injuries some of which can cause long term damage or disability. Your employer has a legal duty to reduce your risk of injury at work, this includes manual handling injuries.
Statistics from the Government’s 2016 Health and Safety at Work Report show that 20% of the injuries caused by workplace accidents result from manual handling.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 impose a duty of care on employers to prevent employees from harm, suffering and injury while manually handling goods and equipment. The Regulations state that an employer should follow a three-step approach:
- Step 1: avoid the need for any manual handling involving risk of injury, “so far as is reasonably practicable”. This may include mechanisation etc.
- Step 2: where manual handling tasks cannot be avoided, employers must fully assess the risks associated with these. This includes assessing the tasks themselves, the loads that need to be lifted or carried, working environment and individual capability.
- Step 3: reduce the risk of injury. After the risk assessment, your employer should introduce safe systems to minimise any risks. The Regulations do not specify a maximum weight limit. However, employers must take steps to reduce manual handling to its lowest practicable level. They must provide you with information on the weight of each load, and the heaviest side of any load.
You might be eligible to claim compensation if you have suffered from a manual handling injury in the last three years due to your employer’s failure to follow health and safety guidelines. Contact us today on 020 3876 7643 for professional, no obligation advice regarding your potential claim. You can also contact us using our online claim form. We will ensure a team member contacts you within 24 hours of receiving your information.