Effects Of Manual Handling Injuries On Workers And Employer Liability

This guide examines the different types of effects of manual handling injuries on employees. Manual handling is the action of moving, lifting, carrying, lowering, pulling or pushing a load (a moveable object, such as a box) using bodily force or hand. 

We closely look at types of physical injuries that could be sustained following a manual handling accident at work, the impact these injuries could have on an employee’s mental health, how job security and income could be affected, and how someone’s ability to carry out job-specific tasks could be affected after sustaining a manual handling injury

This guide also provides a few examples of how an employer could be liable for poor manual handling practices at work. 

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, all employers owe a duty of care to their employees to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and reduce the risk of injury while they are working. Some reasonable steps include providing the adequate training employees need to do their jobs safely, regularly carrying out risk assessments and maintenance of work equipment. 

Thus, if an employer fails to adhere to their legal duty of care, i.e. fails to provide training on proper manual handling techniques, and an employee is injured as a result, then this could make for an eligible personal injury claim. 

If you have had a manual handling accident at work, contact our team of advisors to discuss your circumstances. If you meet the requirements for a personal injury claim, then you could be connected to our expert solicitors. Our solicitors represent their claimants on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that there are no fees to pay unless your claim is successful. 

Man with blue jeans and green shoes lying on wooden floor with boxes covering his upper body.

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The Effects Of Manual Handling Injuries On Workers

According to UNISON, 300,000 people in the UK each year suffer from back pain as a result of manual handling accidents. Moreover, a third of all workplace accidents are due to poor manual handling. 

Here are some of the most common manual handling injuries:

Here are a few illustrative examples of how an employer breaching their duty of care could cause an employee to suffer the consequences of poor manual handling:

  • An employer asks an employee to carry a box down a set of stairs that they cannot see over the top of. The employee thus falls down the stairs as they cannot see their footing, leading to a slipped disc in their back. This shows a lack of health and safety regulations when it comes to manual handling.
  • An employer fails to provide a new employee with any manual handling training before they are set to work in a warehouse moving goods from the warehouse shelving to the shop floor. Due to no training, the employee does not know any correct lifting techniques and suffers a  serious neck injury.
  • An employer does not carry out the necessary risk assessments to reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling. Items that should be moved using mechanical lifting equipment, such as a forklift truck, are not used. An employee drops a heavy box onto their foot as they lose their grip. The falling object causes a severely fractured foot.
  • The employer does not disclose the weight limit or centre of gravity of a load that they have asked an employee to carry. Since the employee is not aware that the weight of the load is unevenly distributed and the centre of gravity is not in the middle, they fall backwards when they lift the load. This leads to them suffering from a crushed vertebrae injury when they land on a solid surface. 

Manual handling training is necessary in all workplaces that require employees to carry out such tasks. If you are suffering from the effects of manual handling injuries following an accident at work that your employer is liable for, please contact our advisors.  

The Effects Of Manual Handling Accidents And Long-Term Musculoskeletal Disorders

Manual handling accidents can cause injuries such as fractures, strains and sprains, which can lead to long-term musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions can affect people after they have sustained an accident at work injury or can come about after exposure to constant strain on joints, bones and muscles and sometimes associated tissues such as your nerves.

The Health and Safety Executive HSE, Great Britain’s regulator of workplace health and safety, by law, must receive reports of certain injuries and accidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 RIDDOR; they take these reports along with data from the Labour Force Survey LFS and provide workplace injury statistics. According to reports from the LFS, 1.8 million workers suffered from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2022/23. Of these, MSD accounted for 27%.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 states that employers must avoid hazardous manual handling operations if possible, risk assess hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided and ensure to reduce the risk of injury so far as is reasonably practicable. An employer can be liable for any long-term musculoskeletal disorders if they fail to give their employees manual handling training

A Personal Who Is Suffering The Effects Of Manual Handling Accidents On Long-Term Musculoskeletal Disorders

Get in touch with us to learn more about claiming compensation for the long-term effects of poor manual handling practices at work. 

What Are The Mental Health Impacts Of Workplace Injuries?

Being injured in an accident at work, especially if the injuries are long-lasting, can have negative effects on an employee’s mental health

Here are a few ways in which a workplace manual handling injury could result in poor mental health:

  • You could develop depression if you have a long-lasting injury that means that you are unable to work for a long period of time. 
  • An inability to perform specific tasks that you could do before your injury, such as walking up the stairs, could lead to distress. 
  • The thought of returning to work after both being injured there and having a prolonged time off could lead to anxiety

You can potentially claim compensation for the psychological effects as well as the physical effects of a manual handling accident at work that was caused by employer negligence. If your manual handling accident at work claim is successful, there is a head of loss called general damages. This compensates for both the physical and mental health injuries.

Our advisors can tell you more about how personal injury compensation is calculated for the effects of manual handling injuries. 

A man in a blue shirt looking tearful with his head in his right hand.

What Impact Could A Manual Handling Accident Have On Income And Job Security?

Here are some types of financial impacts that sustaining a manual handling injury could have on an employee:

  • Loss of earnings and income due to not being able to work during the recovery time of the injury. 
  • Loss of overtime, pension contributions and other workplace benefits. 
  • Costs for home adaptations, such as making the home wheelchair accessible, if the manual handling injury is permanent.
  • Loss of income and job security if the injured person has to change job roles, i.e. into a role that requires less physical activity. 

You can potentially claim compensation for the financial losses stemming from manual handling injuries. If your manual handling accident at work claim is successful, there is a head of loss called special damages. This can compensate you for the money you have lost due to being injured in a manual handling accident. 

For more information on how making a personal injury claim for injuries sustained in a poor manual handling accident can compensate for lost income and job security, please contact us.

How Injuries Can Impact Performance And Productivity?

If the effects of a manual handling injury are permanent and long-lasting, then this can impact productivity and performance in the workplace. The injured person may be less likely to carry out tasks like they used to before. Their injuries may have made their ability to perform physical tasks harder.

Similarly, if the injured person’s mental health has been affected, they could be more apprehensive to do a manual handling task again. This could be from having anxiety, distress, depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from previously being in a manual handling accident.

Moreover, if other employees are aware that a manual handling accident occurred in their workplace because the employer did not take reasonable steps to ensure their safety, then they may also become apprehensive about completing manual handling tasks in fear of getting in an accident themselves.

A man wearing a blue hat bending down to pick up a wooden box using the incorrect lifting technique.

Talk To Us About Claiming For The Effects Of Manual Handling Injuries

If you are seeking compensation for sustaining manual handling injuries at work due to an accident caused by your employer acting negligently, talk to us. Our advisors can give you a free case assessment to determine whether you can connect to a No Win No Fee solicitor of ours. They are experts in representing claimants with their personal injury claims. They can use their expertise to make the claims process as simple as possible for you. 

Our advisors are also available 24/7 for your convenience. Here is how you can get in contact to potentially begin legal proceedings:

Learn More About Manual Handling Accident Claims

We have published similar guides if you want to read more information about accident at work claims and claiming compensation for manual handling injuries:

Here are also some external resources that we think you will find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide today on the effects of manual handling injuries on employees. Don’t hesitate to speak with our advisors should you have any questions at all.