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The health and safety rules relating to manual handling are largely contained in The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

This defines 'manual handling operations' as transporting, supporting, lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load by bodily force.

The regulations state that employers must avoid the need for their employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of injury, so far as is reasonably practicable.

If this is not possible, each employer must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such manual handling operations to be undertaken by them. The Health and Safety Executive suggest the use of the undernoted diagram as a risk assessment guide:


View full HSE guidelines here


Figure 2: Lifting and Lowering

Each box in the above diagram contains a guideline weight for lifting and lowering in that region. When comparing a work activity to the above diagram, you should firstly decide what box(es) the lifters’ hands pass through when moving the load. If the maximum weight the lifter is moving is less than the figure within the box, the operation is within the guidelines.

Risk assessments and additional obligations

The risk of injury from a manual handling task will also be increased where a worker does not have the information or training necessary for its safe performance. Generally, employers must provide their employees with health and safety training. Furthermore, employees who are carrying out manual handling tasks may also require additional training.

Undertaking a risk assessment, removing unnecessary lifting and providing suitable training will usually mean an employer has met their statutory duty and fulfilled their obligations to an employee.

In reality however and under the time pressures of the modern workplace, an employee may be asked to do a manual job ‘in the quickest way possible’ or by a certain time. In situations like this the health and safety rulebook is often thrown out the window as business finance becomes the sole focus and workers fear reprisals for raising safety concerns; however, it is situations such as this which are the root cause of many accidents.

Manual handing accident claim solicitors

If you injure yourself at work, you may be entitled to compensation even if you have been given manual handling training previously. For example, if you were instructed to perform a job in an unsafe manner or given an unrealistic timescale for a task, the advice in these circumstances does not put your health first. In practice, and usually in an effort to keep your job safe, pressure to achieve unrealistic results can result in manual handling accidents.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to an accident at work in circumstances that may be attributable to actions of omissions of an employer, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Contact our No Win No Fee Lawyers today on 0800 0891331 for free legal advice.

Thompsons is one of Scotland’s largest and most respected personal injury firms.

We win more than 90% of the cases we take on and each week secure around £1 million in compensation for our clients. Contact us today.

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