1.6 Million Working Days Are Lost Due To Manual Handling Injuries Every Year
The UK’s Health and Safety executive have recently reported that the British work force are losing more than 1.6 million working days due to manual handling injuries every year. These are usually referred to as musculoskeletal disorders but it can also include: strains, sprains, trapped fingers, cuts from sharp objects or any other injury arising from carrying, lifting, pulling or pushing heavy loads.
This staggering figure highlights the need for greater awareness surrounding our manual workforce culture and the importance of manual handling training along with general health and safety knowledge on both the employer’s and employee’s part.
Manual Handling – When is it required?
Employers should be providing manual handling training to any staff member whose role involves lifting, pushing or pulling heavy objects. The diagram below shows the weight restrictions of objects carried at a certain height and the safety guidance on weight carrying for both males and females:
It is essential that employers train their staff in this area of health and safety as it makes it easier for both employees and their employer to establish how an injury has been caused and who is liable for the injury.
It is important to note when manual handling training is provided, that employers keep a record of this and employees sign a document to confirm they have received the appropriate training.
I have a back injury but I do not lift heavy weights
Many people suffer from back injuries and upper limb disorders even if their job role does not involve heavy lifting. Bad posture or repetitive manual tasks can also induce musculoskeletal disorders and a combination of both can be just as harmful as lifting excessive weights.
If you do suffer from any upper limb or back pain that you believe has been caused by your job role it is worth noting how often you perform a repetitive task and the position that your body is in whilst performing the particular activity.
When am I most at risk from handling injuries?
The HSE stats as of 2012/13 report that nurses, care workers and retail assistants are among some of the highest at risk of handling injuries but it is not just limited to jobs involving manual labour. Other job roles that rank amongst some of the highest occupations causing injuries include van drivers, cleaners and kitchen/catering assistants.
It is fair to say that you are never safe when it comes to injury at work and sometimes it can be unforeseeable. The best way to reduce the number of workplace injuries is to train and retrain in areas of health and safety including manual handling if necessary.
Claiming Compensation for Back Injuries or RSI’s
Compensation is available for victims of poor working environments that cause any physical condition. Back injuries from heavy lifting, bad posture or repetitive lifting where training has not been provided is certainly worth enquiring about however we would always advise trying to receive a formal diagnosis from a health professional first to ensure there is a causal link between work and the injury.
This is similar to Repetitive Strain Injuries as these types of injuries can be brought on by a number of reasons and there are various forms. Again, a formal diagnosis from a health professional will always aid a claim for compensation and give you an idea of what is causing a particular injury.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors specialise in industrial disease and work place injury and illness, and can help you bring a successful claim for compensation if you believe work has caused your condition. We are an award winning law firm offering a No Win No Fee service so no matter how big or small your enquiry is we can point you in the right direction by offering free legal advice and expert knowledge in this field.
To speak to one of our specialist advisors or to receive Free legal advice please call 0800 001 4496 or simply fill in the form down the right hand side of this page with you details and we will call you right back.