Manual Handling Injury Claims Guide
Manual handling injury claims for compensation are among the most frequently made workplace injury claims in Ireland. It is no surprise when manual handling accidents accounted for 31 percent of reported injuries in the workplace in Ireland in 2010. Lifting boxes or heavy objects places an employee at risk of injury and an employer must take steps to reduce any hazard to employees to the lowest possible level. Financial pressure can cause employers to cut corners. When an employer has not fulfilled his obligation to ensure your personal safety in the workplace, it can be construed as negligence, and manual handling injury claims for compensation can be made to cover any personal injury which results.
Manual handling injury claims are frequently made for lifting injuries; however manual handling injures can also be caused by pushing or pulling objects, or lowering them rather than lifting. Manual handling injury claims can be made regardless of how you sustained an injury, as long as an accident is attributable to your employer’s negligence.
Manual Handling Injury Claims for Compensation in Ireland
Manual handling accidents frequently cause injuries to the back, neck and shoulders, but the limbs are also frequently injured in manual handling accidents in the workplace. Manual handling injury claims can also be made for an existing medical condition which has deteriorated as a result of a manual handling accident in the workplace.
Although manual handling injuries are most frequently sustained in warehouses, building sites, farms and factories, manual handling accidents can also occur in what are considered to be much safer environments. Many manual handling injuries are sustained in Ireland by employees in offices, shops and even hospitals. In these ‘safe’ environments, manual handling accidents may even be more likely to occur, as staff may not be used to having to perform manual handling tasks and may not have received training on proper lifting techniques. When this is the case, employees are placed at a higher risk of sustaining injuries.
It has been estimated that as many as a third of work related injuries in Ireland are due to manual handling accidents in the workplace. If you have been injured when lifting objects as part of your job – or when requested to do so by an employer – and you believe the injury was not your fault, you may be eligible to make manual handling injury claims for compensation for both general damages and special damages against your employer’s liability insurance policy.
When Can Manual Handling Claims be Made Against an Employer?
Your place of work should be safe and you should not be placed at a high risk of sustaining an injury while at work. Although health and safety standards in Ireland are high, every year many thousands of employees are injured in manual handling accidents in Ireland. A high proportion of the victims in these accidents are eligible to make manual handling injury claims for compensation. Irish claims law states that manual handling injury claims can be made; providing that a manual handling accident has occurred which was caused by the negligence of an employer and that the employer has failed in a duty of care to you as an employee. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to make manual handling injury claims for compensation, an Irish work-related injury compensation solicitor should be consulted for legal advice.
Responsibilities of an Employer
An employer has a duty of care to you as an employee and must take steps to reduce any risks to your health in the workplace. Responsibilities of an employer include:
- Conducting risk assessments in the workplace
- Taking adequate precautions to ensure that risks are kept to the lowest possible level
- Making sure employee’s are capable of performing tasks
- Reducing weights which employees must handle
- Proving suitable lifting equipment as appropriate
- Maintaining health and safety equipment and replacing as appropriate
- Providing training to help employees minimise risk
- Managing workloads to of staff to reduce excessive strain
- Ensuring adequate staff are available with the necessary skills to perform a job safely
When an employer fails in any of the above areas, and an employee suffers an injury in a manual handling accident as a result, it may be due to negligence and a failure in the employer´s duty of care. Manual handling injury claims for compensation may then be possible against the employer. A personal injury solicitor should be consulted about making employer liability claims in Ireland.
Responsibilities of an Employee
Although an employer has a responsibility towards staff, employees too must take care to ensure their own personal safety. An employee should alert an employer of any potential risks in the workplace and should take an active role implementing health and safety practices. If lifting equipment is provided, it should be used as instructed alongside the health and safety guidelines issued to staff.
If an employee fails to follow procedures and sustains an injury due to a lack of care, manual handling injury claims will not be possible. However even if an employee sustains an injury when performing a manual handling task at work and is only partly to blame, manual handling injury claims may be possible, and a personal injury solicitor should be consulted for advice on eligibility to make a claim for compensation.
Free Legal Advice about Irish Manual Handling Injury Claims
If you have sustained a personal injury in a manual handling accident in the workplace and believe that you were not to blame, we invite you to call our free legal helpline for advice. You will have the opportunity of speaking directly with a personal injury solicitor who has experience of making manual handling injury claims in Ireland. You will be able to have any questions answered, will receive a free assessment of your eligibility to make manual handling injury claims for compensation in Ireland and will be told what you need to do next.
Call our Freephone legal helpline on 1-800 989 995 today in confidence or complete your details in the contact form below and one of our experienced solicitors will call you back at the requested time.