Almost a quarter of all non-fatal work-related accidents in Great Britain in the past year were caused by lifting, handling or carrying, according to Health & Safety Executive statistics.
Therese Classon, personal injury solicitor at WBW Solicitors, outlines the causes and nature of many workplace lifting injuries and explains how you might claim compensation if you have been hurt in such an accident.
Causes and nature of lifting injuries
There are a number of occupations in the South West which involve a degree of heavy lifting, including farming, construction and catering, and a number of ways you can suffer a lifting injury in the workplace.
You could be hurt just from the sheer weight of the objects that you are required to carry; the awkward posture you are forced to adopt when carrying heavy objects; inadequate handholds on the loads you are lifting; or just the high frequency and long duration of the lifting required of you. There could also be contributory environmental factors, such as poor lighting (which increases the risk of trips or falls), cold temperatures (which make muscles less flexible and more likely to pull) or hot temperatures (which can lead to dehydration or fatigue).
Possible injuries caused by lifting include muscle pulls, back sprains, dislocations, as well as wrist, neck elbow, shoulder and spinal injuries.
Duties of an employer
Your employer has a duty to assess and minimise the risks involved in your job by providing the right training, equipment and safety gear and ensuring your job does not involve something which could hurt you. If your lifting injury is caused by their failure to adequately carry out this duty, you may have a claim for compensation.
How a solicitor can help
If you have been injured in a lifting accident at work, and you feel your employer was wholly or even partly to blame, consult a solicitor straight away as a personal injury claim needs to be brought within strict time limits.
At WBW Solicitors, our specialist personal injury lawyers will guide you through the claim process, gather the evidence you need to support your claim, and, more often than not, will try and negotiate a settlement for you without the matter ever going to court.
The compensation you receive will depend on the nature and seriousness of your injury, but could include reimbursement for the costs of medical bills, physiotherapy and travel expenses to the hospital, as well as compensation for your personal injuries, pain and suffering and loss of earnings.
For further information, please contact Therese Classon in the personal injury team on 01626 202328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. WBW Solicitors has nine offices across Devon & Cornwall.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.