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Back injuries are the most common workplace medical complaint in the UK. The rules that apply to lifting operations are contained in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. Accident compensation claims as a result of manual handling occur in industries as diverse as nursing and construction with these incidents representing about one third of all reported accidents at work. The TUC recently found that back strains were still widespread and were seen as a major hazard with women workers being particularly vulnerable to injury.

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

By virtue of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 an employer is now under a primary duty to avoid the need for employees to undertake any operations that involve the risk of personal injury. The employer is also required to undertake a specific assessment of all operations which involve any risk. Where there is a risk of injury it is necessary for the employer to consider what equipment or plant can be used to replace manual effort. Employers are also required to reduce the risk of injury by providing employees with proper training, instruction and supervision and if an accident occurs as a result of failure to provide adequate health and safety training or supervision then the employer will be held liable in negligence for any injury sustained by an employee and must pay compensation in any manual handling accident compensation claims.

Staff Training

Professional trainers have suggested that between 3 and 5 days is an appropriate time period for training staff that have no previous experience and appropriate supervision must be provided to ensure training is put into practice. Failure to carry out the provisions will mean that an employer is liable in negligence for a manual handling accident compensation claim and must pay compensation for any injuries sustained by an employee.

Mechanical Handling

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 covers any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving) by hand or by bodily force. The regulations clearly indicate that an employer shall so far as is practicable, avoid the need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of their being injured. Where there is a risk of injury it is necessary for the employer to consider what equipment or plant can be used to replace manual effort.

Damages Awards

Damages awarded in a manual handling accident compensation claim may include :-

  • pain & suffering
  • loss of amenities
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of lifestyle
  • disadvantage on the job market
  • loss of earnings
  • travelling expenses
  • assistance with household chores
  • special care aids & equipment
  • cost of care and assistance
  • adapted transport
  • adapted accommodation
  • prescriptions & therapies
  • out of pocket expenses

Personal Injury Solicitors

If you have suffered any injury in an accident at work our solicitors can help you claim compensation by using the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. The law relating to lifting accidents is complex and it is in your interests to ensure that you take immediate qualified advice on manual handling accident compensation claims from a specialist solicitor to preserve your legal rights. Our lawyers are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts who operate the risk free no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you would like legal advice just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a solicitor experienced in work accident claims will speak to you on the telephone at no cost and without obligation.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here