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Manual handling injury

What is a manual handling injury?

There is a risk of manual handling injury in just about every work environment. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 protect employees from injuries caused by Manual Handling at work. [ see Accident at work, How to win your personal injury claim].

Manual handling accidents can cause back injuries in a workplace where employees do heavy lifting or pulling of weights.  This type of injury is likely to occur if you haven’t had training on things like lifting or moving heavy items. Your employer should offer manual handling training early in your employment to minimise injury. A trip, slip or fall could also result in a back injury at work.

Back injury symptoms include;

  • Pain and discomfort in the upper or lower back
  • Limited movement
  • Numbness
  • Insomnia

The Law

Manual Handling Responsibilities

Employers and employees are both responsible for health and safety in manual handling

Employers MUST:

  • Review all working practices, removing any manual handling which is not absolutely necessary.
  • Risk assess all manual handling which cannot be removed and which could cause injury.
  • Reduce the risk of injury from all essential manual handling as much as possible.

Employees MUST:

  • Cooperate fully with employers on EVERYTHING relating to Health and Safety
  • Follow all health and safety guidelines
  • Notify their employer of any dangerous manual handling practices they notice
  • Pay attention to the impact of their actions on themselves and others
  • Use all workplace PPE and safety equipment appropriately


In order to win a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer [ see Accident at work, How to win your personal injury claim].

The Pre-Action Protocol

You start your claim using the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims.

  • Identify that there is a person, company or organisation to make the claim against.
  • Show that the person, company or organisation owed you a duty of care to avoid your accident and injury, and could have taken steps to avoid the situation.
  • Prove that your injury was caused by the failure of the responsible person or organisation to take reasonable steps to avoid causing your accident or injury.



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