Personal Injury Law Scotland

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Manual handling accidents - a major cause of occupational injury in the UK

Manual handling accidents remain one of the main causes of occupational injury within the UK. More than a third of all three day injuries reported each year to the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities are caused by manual handling.

Manual handling means the transporting or supporting loads by hand or by bodily force.  

Prevention and control of work related muscular skeletal disorders (MSD) is currently one of the HSE’s major priorities. Most of the reported accidents cause back injury, although hands, arms and feet are also vulnerable.  

Manual handling injuries can build up over a period rather than be caused by single incident. Injuries occur at all work places: farms, building sites, factories, offices, warehouse, hospitals, banks and laboratories. Delivery workers are particularly at risk from this type of injury.

Health and Safety Executive issues guidance about assessing and reducing the risk of personal injury from manual handling.

The employer should carry out a risk assessment where any manual handling operation may be required. The object of the manual handling regulations is to see if manual handling can be avoided at all.

•    Can mechanisation be used.
•    Can automation be used.
•    Can other means be introduced of moving materials.

If manual handling is required a risk assessment should be carried out to identify the nature of the task.

•    To assess the load.
•    To check the working environment.
•    To check the individual capacity of the person doing the job.

Improvements can be made to the workplace, to the load and to the work premises.  

Good handling technique and posture is important in avoiding manual handling injuries. 

Lawford Kidd is a specialist personal injury practice acting on behalf of the claimants suffering personal injury from manual handling accidents. If you have had an injury at work resulting from an improper system of manual handling contact us immediately on 0131-225-5214.

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