Frequently Asked Questions About A Manual Handling Injury Compensation Claim

If you sustained injuries in a manual handling accident at work, you may want to know more about how to claim compensation. This guide seeks to answer frequently asked questions about making a manual handling injury compensation claim.

We look at what a manual handling accident is and illustrate this with examples. This is followed by examining when you might have a valid claim for manual handling injuries at work. Should you decide to file a personal injury claim, you may like to know how compensation could be awarded. We explain how compensation is awarded in successful manual handling claims.

Additionally, we provide further information about the personal injury claims process, including a look at what time limits apply should you wish to launch one. We also explain what factors affect how long it could take to settle an accident at work claim.

Finally, we explain how a personal injury solicitor can support your manual handling claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you have any questions about manual handling injury claims, direct them to one of the advisors from our team. They can discuss your claim and help assess whether it is valid. To speak to one of our team members:

  • Phone our team on 0161 696 9685.
  • You can ‘contact us’ to begin your claim online.
  • Chat to our team using the live-chat pop-up.

Two people lift a box at work whilst a third person supervises.

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What Is A Manual Handling Accident?

Manual handling is the loading, lifting, moving, supporting or transporting a load. To do so manually means using your bodily force. It may involve lifting heavy boxes, unloading a wagon or moving roll cages. It could be an object, person or animal.

We should note that in some instances lifting and handling equipment, such as lifting straps, may be used to reduce the accident risk.

Examples of manual handling injuries could include:

  • Care workers having to lift a person without assistance leading to manual handling back or shoulder injuries.
  • Being trapped or crushed by a roll cage during manual handling operations. For example, if a roll cage door is faulty, your hand could be caught, resulting in crushed finger injuries.
  • Foot and lower limb injuries if heavy items are dropped during manual handling operations. For example, if a load could be split into smaller, lighter and easier to grasp consignments, it should be. Failure to do so could result in a broken foot from dropping objects that are too heavy or bulky.
  •  Lack of manual handling training can cause a variety of injuries. For example, if you aren’t taught to safely bend to pick up an object from the floor or a low shelf, you could sustain a spinal cord injury.

Whilst manual handling is essential for many workplace tasks, it is a leading cause of workplace injuries. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), manual handling accidents were the second largest (17%) cause of workplace injuries in 2022/23 (as reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). The HSE monitors and regulates health and safety at work in Great Britain.

If you have any questions about whether your accident could qualify for a manual handling injury compensation claim, speak to our team.

Can I Make A Manual Handling Injury Compensation Claim?

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) your employer must take reasonable steps to ensure your workplace health, safety and welfare. This is the duty of care that employers owe to their employees. As part of this duty, employers must adhere to any relevant health and safety guidelines and laws. For manual handling tasks, your employer will need to comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR).

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations state that your employer should avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable. If tasks do need to be carried out, they should:

  • Conduct a risk assessment,
  • Take steps to limit the risk of injury, such as through the use of lifting equipment.

When Could You Claim?

In order to make a manual handling injury compensation claim, you need to show that,

  • The employer owed you a duty of care as set under health and safety legislation. For example, they must provide training and any equipment required to safely carry out your work duties.
  • That they breached this duty of care, such as by failing to provide lifting equipment where necessary.
  • That this breach caused your injuries. For example, as a result of not providing appropriate lifting equipment, you had to carry a heavy object by hand and sustained a back injury.

Another example of when you could be eligible to make a manual handling claim could be if you were not provided with the correct manual handling training and sustain injuries as a result. You may also need to be issued with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective boots, to prevent injuries.

Speak to our team if you were injured in a manual handling accident at work.

What Are The Risk Factors That Could Lead To Manual Handling Injuries?

Manual handling encompasses a wide variety of tasks. As such, there are many different ways manual handling accidents can happen along with various risk factors.

Risk factors which could affect workplaces as diverse as construction sites and offices may include:

  • The weight of the item that needs to be lifted or moved.
  • The distance you have to move the item by lifting, carrying or otherwise moving.
  • Frequency of manual handling tasks.
  • If you need to bend, crouch, twist or reach in order to pick up the item.

Failing to properly address these risk factors could lead to manual handling injuries such as strains and sprains, joint injuries, back injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.

Industries that involve frequent manual handling tasks, such as construction, may have a higher risk of manual handling accidents. However, any job involving manual handling has this risk if proper precautions are not in place.

Speak to an advisor about your manual handling injury compensation claim today.

An image shows the correct and poor posture for carrying boxes.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Manual Handling Injuries?

You must initiate the manual handling claims process within the personal injury claims time limit. The standard limitation period for personal injury claims is three years from the date of your accident, as set out in The Limitation Act 1980.

Exceptions are made for:

  • Those under the age of 18 are unable to claim on their own behalf. As such, a suitable adult may apply to the court to become a Litigation Friend and act in the interest of the child. The Litigation Friend could start the claim at any point before the child turns 18. Once they are 18, the standard accident at work claim time limit of 3 years will begin (if a litigation friend did not claim for them).
  • If the injured party does not have the mental capacity required for civil proceedings, there will be no time limit in which to start a claim. A Litigation Friend may do so at any time on their behalf. However, if the injured person recovers the capacity required to file a claim, they will have three years from that date to do so if a litigation friend has not already launched one for them.

An advisor can help to assess whether you are within the relevant limitation period in which to start your manual handling injury compensation claim.

How Much Manual Handling Compensation Could I Receive?

If your manual handling injury compensation claim is successful, your settlement could consist of two parts (or heads of loss) called general and special damages.

Compensation for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries is referred to as general damages. To assess how much you could be eligible to claim, those tasked with valuing manual handling accident claims may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This provides guidelines for assessing how much could be awarded for different types and severity of injury.

Figures in the first row are not taken from the JCG and include compensation for financial losses. However, the figures in the remaining rows are from the JCG. How much compensation you could receive will be unique to your case. Therefore, these figures are provided for illustrative purposes only, and your settlement may differ.

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Bracket
Multiple injuries with additional compensation for financial losses.Multiple severe or serious injuriesCompensation includes damages for pain and suffering as well as financial losses.Up to £500,000+
Brain injuriesVery severe (a)Head or brain injuries which leave the person with little or no meaningful response to their surroundings.£344,150 to £493,000
Brain injuriesModerately severe (b)An injury which leaves the person with a serious disability. The person is reliant on others for care.£267,340 to £344,150
Back injuriesSevere (a) (iii)Back injuries such as fractures to the disc or other vertebral bodies that cause disabilities such as severe pain and discomfort with impairments to agility and sexual function. £47,320 to £85,100
Back injuriesModerate (b) (ii)Including frequently occurring types of moderate back injury that cause backache and prolonged acceleration or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. £15,260 to £33,880
Neck injuriesModerate (b) (i)Fractures or dislocations which result in immediate symptoms.£30,500 to £46,970
Neck injuriesModerate (b) (ii)Including soft tissue injuries, disc lesions and wrenching type injuries.£16,770 to £30,500
Elbow injuriesLess severe (b)Elbow injuries which impair joint function.£19,100 to £39,070
Elbow injuriesModerate to minor (iii)Injuries which take three years to recover from and/ or which require surgery.Up to £15,370
Wrist injuries(d)Where recovery from fracture or soft tissue injury takes longer than 12 months.£7,420 to £12,630

Can I Claim For Loss Of Earnings In A Manual Handling Injury Claim?

Compensation for financial losses is known as special damages. As a result of your injury you may have had to take time off work and lost income or earnings.

You could also have lost the ability to work or have lost workplace benefits such as contributions to your pension. You may be able to recover compensation for loss of earnings as part of your manual handling claim.

In addition to this, you may also recover costs such as:

  • Medical treatment, care or prescription costs.
  • The cost of travelling to medical appointments.
  • The cost of adapting your home or your vehicle.
  • Other financial losses

In order to claim for these types of damages, you will need to provide evidence of the loss or cost. This may be in the form of wage slips or invoices for medical treatment.

Contact our team to check how much your manual handling injury compensation claim may be worth.

Am I Able To Claim If I’m Self-Employed?

You may be able to claim compensation for an accident at work when self-employed. While you are in any workplace carrying out work-related tasks, you are owed a duty of care. For example, if an employee was not trained in manual handling and this meant that they dropped a heavy box on your foot, causing foot injuries, you could possibly claim against the employer.

Additionally, you are also owed this duty of care as a visitor to a workplace where you are not employed. For example, if you are visiting a workplace and you trip over a hazard that should have been removed, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in this accident.

Our team can help you understand your health and safety rights when self-employed and assess your eligibility to make a manual handling injury compensation claim.

A man bends over incorrectly to pick up a box from the floor.

How Long Will My Manual Handling Claim Take?

As each injury at work claim is unique, there isn’t a specific amount of time it can take to conclude. A lot of different factors will be considered to estimate how long an individual manual handling injury compensation claim could take.

These may include:

  • How serious or complex your injuries are. The more complex and/or severe your injuries, the longer it may take to fully assess them and understand their lifestyle impacts.
  • What evidence you can provide. The more evidence you have, the easier it may be to prove your employer was liable for your injuries.
  • Whether your employer accepts their liability for your accident and injuries or whether they dispute this.
  • How long it takes for the other party’s solicitor to respond.

If your employer accepts liability, you may be offered an interim payment to cover medical expenses or other costs while your claim is being settled. This will be paid out of your compensation.

A No Win No Fee solicitor could help you claim for a serious accident at work.

Why Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor To Claim For Manual Handling Injuries?

If you are eligible to make a manual handling injury compensation claim, you may like to have the support of a personal injury solicitor. One of the solicitors from our panel could work on your case.

If you choose to claim with a solicitor from our panel, they may be able to handle your case through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under a CFA:

  • You do not need to make any upfront payments for your solicitor’s work.
  • You also won’t need to make any ongoing payments for their work.
  • If your claim is not successful, there will be no costs to pay for your solicitor’s work on your case.
  • If your claim is successful, a deduction from your compensation award by your solicitor as a ‘success fee’ will be taken.

Success fees are set as a legally limited percentage. Additionally, they will be agreed upon between you and your solicitor prior to the start of your case.

Whilst you do not need a solicitor in order to make a personal injury claim, having an expert to work on your case could help you to secure the best possible outcome.

Contact Our Team Today

If you have been injured in an accident at work our advisors are on hand with free advice. If you call our team we will ask you some questions to help us understand how you have been injured and to assess whether your employer may be liable for your injuries. If it seems like your claim is valid, you could be connected to one of the personal injury solicitors from our panel.

You can contact our team today about your manual handling injury compensation claim in the following ways:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685.
  • Complete our ‘contact us’ form to get a call back from our team.
  • Use our pop-up live chat.

A solicitor and client sit at a desk discussing a manual injury compensation claim.

Read More About Making A Manual Handling Injury Compensation Claim

Here you can find further resources on making a successful manual handling compensation claim.

Further guides from our site

External resources

We hope our manual handling injury compensation claim guide has helped you. Our team is on hand to answer further questions you may have.