Introduction to Handling Injury Compensation
Industries in which employees are more at risk from workplace handling injuries include engineering, retail, warehousing and construction, but in all situations where the risk of workplace handling injury exists, employers have a responsibility to provide sufficient protection for their staff. Health and safety regulations restrict the volume of workplace handling which has to be done by employees and reduces the risk of a handling injury by introducing load bearing machines wherever possible.
Workplace handling injuries can happen to anybody, irrespective of their level of fitness. In the UK, workplace handling injury results in musculoskeletal disorders which may require the victim of the accident to need a prolonged recovery period. Consequently claims for handling injury compensation have to take into account factors such as ongoing care and a potentially significant loss of earnings. However, only if an employer has failed to adhere to these health and safety regulations, and you suffer an injury as a result, are you entitled to make a handling injury compensation claim.
Causes and Types of Handling Injuries
There are a number of ways in which a handling injury can occur and it is every employer´s responsibility to perform a risk assessment before manual handling tasks are undertaken to prevent them. An employer should look to eliminate working in a fixed posture for a prolonged period of time or working in a cramped workspace in which employees have to assume awkward positions. They should also consider the weight and shape of the object that has to be handled and whether it is to be picked up from ground level or above shoulder height. The number of times an object is handled or the duration of the handling task can also affect the chance of injury.
In a claim for handling injury compensation, the most commonly cited injury is low back pain. Handling injuries can set off muscle spasms or aggravate a pre-existing degenerative condition, and in more severe cases a handling injury claim can be for a compressed nerve or the rupture of a spinal disc (particularly in the lower lumbar spine). Employees engaged in recurring handling tasks can develop repetitive strain injuries and tendonitis, and in order to eliminate handling injury compensation claims for these conditions, an employer should adhere to health and safety regulation which prescribe a rotation of tasks and regular breaks.
What to do After a Handling Injury
Your initial consideration should be that of your health, and depending on the severity of your handling injury, either an ambulance should be called or you should be taken to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital to receive professional medical attention. When a degenerative handling injury has occurred over time, be sure to advise your GP what you do for a living in order than he can associate your employment with your back or upper limb injury.
You should have your handling injury recorded in your employer´s “Accident Report Book” and wherever possible take pictures of your working environment to use as evidence in your handling injury compensation claim. Statements from work colleagues can also support your handling injury claim and if any of them have sustained a similar injury in the past due to an employer´s negligence, their testimony will cement your claim for handling injury compensation further.
Handling Injury Compensation Solicitors
Once you have received medical attention for your handling injury, it is in your best interests to speak with a handling injury compensation solicitor at your earliest possible opportunity. At best, a handling injury can heal with rest, but your injury may require far more extreme treatment and you could be away from work for many months – possibly unable to ever return to your previous position.
A handling injury compensation solicitor will be aware of all the consequences of your workplace handling injury and be able to integrate them into your handling injury claim. As well as claiming handling injury compensation for the pain and suffering you endured, he will ensure you are compensated for any out of pocket expenses you incur – from the costs of seeking medical treatment to the expense of modifying your home if your handling injury results in you being wheelchair bound.
One of the issues that has to be overcome in a handling injury compensation is that of outright liability. There may be circumstances in which your employer was not entirely to blame for your handling injury and you contributed to your ill health by your own lack of care. It is recommended that you bring any possibility of contributory negligence to a solicitor´s attention at an early stage in your discussions, as it might have a significant effect on the outcome of your handling injury compensation claim.
No Win, No Fee Handling Injury Compensation
If you have been injured in a workplace handling accident and would like to know more about claiming handling injury compensation, you are advised to discuss your claim for handling injury compensation with a solicitor, who will advise you whether you have a handling injury claim is worth your while to pursue.
Handling injury compensation claims are commonplace in industry, but are also frequently complex to resolve. Always get advice from an experienced solicitor whose interests lie in finalising a quick and satisfactory handling injury compensation settlement on your behalf.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.