A huge variety of jobs require employees to carry out tasks which involve manual handling. Most of the time, this kind of work is physically demanding but not dangerous. However, accidents can happen, particularly if safety precautions are not put in place or training is not provided by the employer. Manual handling accidents can include strains, sprains; injuries sustained from lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads; trapped fingers and cuts from sharp objects. The most common type of injuries sustained from manual handling accidents are those which affect the back (often referred to as musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs), followed by injuries to the arms, shoulders, wrists and hands.
Not just about manual workers
Although it’s often thought that manual handling injuries are only an issue in places like factories, building sites and warehouses, it’s actually a type of accident that affects all industries and workers. Shop workers moving stock and office workers accepting a delivery or helping with an office move are equally at risk of an injury if precautions are not taken by their employer. In general, employers should regularly review their working practices to ensure that manual handling is either kept to a minimum or carried out correctly. This may involve carrying out a risk assessment and providing clear instructions to employees, together with health and safety guidelines and protective equipment if necessary.
More than 17,000 injuries each year
The latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that over 17,000 employees suffer handling, lifting and carrying injuries each year, with the health and social care sector reporting the highest number of these type of injuries. If you have been unlucky enough to have been affected by a manual handling accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The team of accident at work specialists at Flanagans Solicitors can help you find out if you have a claim and advise you on the best way forward.