Good afternoon and, this being my first blog of 2014, Happy New Year,
I moved house recently and even though we paid for a professional removal service, I was left with a sore back from all of the lifting and awkward carrying involved. Thankfully, I was okay again within a few days.
We often get calls from clients about injuries sustained in accidents caused by moving, lifting, carrying, pushing or lowering things at work. These accidents are categorised as “manual handling claims”.
Even in this age of mass mechanisation and computerisation many work tasks still simply have to involve a lift, a shift or a pull etc by hand. For instance, the massive growth of Internet shopping has meant more multi drop delivery van drivers than ever out on the roads dropping off the Internet bought goods. That’s easy if it’s a DVD or a paperback book, but big, heavy and awkward goods need to be delivered too and it is rare these days for a driver to have a mate to help carry at the delivery address. Just think how much was shifted by Amazon and similar companies in the weeks up to Christmas.
Very often it is not just the sheer weight of an item that is the problem. It can often be the fact that it is an awkward or unwieldy item, or there is a limited space to manoeuvre it into, or steps to negotiate. For example, a Christmas tree might only weigh 10Kg, but it is an awkward thing to carry and if it has to be taken up narrow stairs or round a tight corner it puts extra strain on various parts of the deliverer’s body. I’ve had window fitters injured carrying window units that perhaps only weighed 15Kg, but were big and awkward or had to be held or lifted into to strange places. I’ve also had hurt builders, industrial workers, cleaners, bin men; in fact you name a workplace and I bet I’ve seen a manual handling accident in it!
You might think that office workers don’t have these kinds of accidents, but you would be surprised by what I’ve seen. There can be big heavy archive boxes, awkward pieces of heavy office furniture, computers to move etc. This is often made worse by the fact that you might have an older person with other health issues doing the manual handling task, or perhaps someone who is tiny doing a job that is unsuitable for them and their body.
These accidents are surprisingly common and there are specific Manual Handling Regulations in place that are aimed at protecting employees whose work includes any manual handling at all. The Regulations are very detailed and quite strict, so if you have had an accident involving manual handling then there will almost certainly be something relevant and helpful in them. Manual handling compensation claims are frequently successful and so if you have had such an accident it is definitely worth considering bringing a claim. Contact someone like us who will consider the accident with you for free and work on a no win no fee basis, with no risk to you.
As you would expect, back injuries are the most common sort of injury suffered in accidents of this sort, but I have seen all sorts of injuries suffered. Sometimes it is as much the dropping of an item as the lifting that causes the injury!
If you have any injury at all, give us a call.
Hopefully, I won’t be moving again for a very long time.
That’s all for now,