A manual handling operation is any transporting or supporting of a load (which includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load) by hand or by bodily force. In effect, any activity that requires an individual to lift, move or support a load, will be classified as a manual handling task. 

Making a manual handling claim couldn’t be simpler.


  • No Win, No Fee on all claims
  • Dedicated and highly skilled Industrial Disease claims team
  • All claims undertaken
  • Free initial advice from a qualified Industrial Disease solicitor
  • Experts in Manual handling compensation claims
  • High success rate for clients
  • Awards range from £1,000 up to £1,000,000.

What is a Manual Handling Operation?

Manual Handling occurs in many different working environments, although some industries/workers will likely be more at risk such as workers in construction, restaurants who are all more likely to be exposed to heavy loads.

Anyone involved in the moving of goods or people could be at risk of injuries from Manual Handling Operations. Injuries and suffering can be linked to any work involving handling of loads. There are risks in handling even light loads. Risks can be found in many different work sectors.

A manual handling operation, therefore, does not necessarily have to be lifting an item but could also be jobs such as pushing or pulling heavy loads.

What does my Employer Have to Do?

Your employer is under a duty so far as is reasonably practicable to avoid the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involves a risk of them becoming injured.

Where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid the need for manual handling operations, your employee is under a duty to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such manual handling operations to be undertaken and:

  • Take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable
  • Take appropriate steps to provide general indications and, where it is reasonably practicable to do so, precise information on the weight and distribution of the load
  • Review any assessment if there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid or if there has been a significant change in the manual handling operations to which it relates

In determining whether manual Handling operations involve a Risk of injury / the appropriate steps to reduce that risk to have regard in particular to the physical suitability of the employee, the knowledge and training of the employee and the results of any previous risk assessments etc.

manual handling carrying boxes

Do I have any Duties as an Employee?

Yes – As an Employee, you also have duties to ensure that you make full and proper use of any system of work provided to you by your employer.

The Task

There are a number of factors relating to the task itself:

  • Does the task involve unsatisfactorily bodily movement or posture such as twisting, stooping, overreaching or insufficient rest or recovery periods.

The Loads

In relation to the load factors to consider are –

  • Is the load heavy
  • Is the load bulky
  • Is the load difficult to grasp
  • Is the load unstable, or likely to shift
  • Is the load sharp, hot or otherwise potentially damaging

The Working Environment –

  • Is the Working environment preventing good posture
  • Is the working environment uneven or slippery
  • Is the working environment in extreme temperatures or humidity
  • Is the working environment in poor lighting conditions

Individual Capacity –

  • Does the load/manoeuvre require unusual strength, height etc
  • Does the operation create a hazard to those who might reasonably be considered to be pregnant or to have a health problem
  • Require special Information or training for its safe performance

Lifting and Handling in Teams

Team lifting could be considered by an Employer to reduce the risk of injuries from Manual Handling. It is important that that any lifting done in teams is co-ordinated and the following are things that should be considered:

  • Make sure that everyone is lifting and moving the load in tandem
  • Try and ensure that the heights of the people within the Lifting team are roughly the same height

Handling Aids

Equipment to assist in Manual Handling Operations can be used to limit risks to health and safety . Equipment such as trolleys and wheelbarrows can be used to reduce the likelihood of injury.  It is always better to push rather than pull when using equipment such as trolleys.

For more heavy loads or difficult manual handling operations more sophisticated manual handling equipment may be used such as

  • Cranes
  • Hoists
  • Conveyors
  • Fork Lift Trucks

What are the Problems that are likely caused by Manual Handling?

Manual handling can lead to many different issues such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Neck and upper limb disorders
  • Lower limb disorders
  • Back pain and back injuries
  • Cuts/bruises and associated symptoms caused directly by accidents resulting from manual handling operations.

The most common work – related problem resulting from Manual Handling will is work –related low back pain.  These types of problems can have serious consequences to workers, and may restrict their ability to undertake a wide range of work and leisure activities for a fixed amount of time and in some cases for the rest of their lives.  It would be for a medical expert who specialises in these type of musculoskeletal disorders to give a full opinion and prognosis as to the symptoms and the likely.

manual handling

Personal injury compensation may be awarded in the following scenarios:

  • for general damages, to cover the pain and suffering the injury has caused
  • to cover property damage, such as broken jewellery or ripped clothing
  • to reimburse travel expenses, for example, to and from the hospital
  • to cover present and future loss of earnings
  • to cover medical and other expenses, such as the cost of installing a stair lift or otherwise adapting the Claimant’s home.

Minor back injuries e.g. soft tissue sprains can be awarded compensation from £1,705 to £6,380 if recovery occurs within two years and without surgery. Severe back injuries such as fractures that compromise the Claimant’s agility and performance whilst at work can be awarded compensation between £31,350 and £56,375.

Higher awards may reach in excess of £130,000 for serious, long-term injuries that do not involve paralysis.

You will have three years to make a claim for compensation from the date you were first aware of your hearing loss symptoms, or if you believe the issues came about at your previous working environment.

This does mean, however, you can start a claim many years after you stopped working at the company in question, as long as you did not notice the extent of your hearing problems until much later.

If you would like to make a claim against your current employer, any compensation would initially be paid by their insurer. For many years it’s been compulsory to have insurance, so it would be highly likely that they will have this scheme in place. Legal safeguarding is in place to make sure you are protected from unfair dismissal.

In simple terms, this means your employer must be able to justify their decision for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which, in most cases is highly unlikely. If you would like the opportunity of discussing this subject in more detail, our expert industrial deafness solicitors will be able to help you by sitting down explaining your rights and what you can expect.

We have many years of personal injury experience, having successfully recovered millions of pounds in compensation for our clients.

We have helped a wide variety of people injured in many different areas of employment obtain as much money as possible for more than a decade.

This wealth of knowledge and experience combined with our unrivalled level of determination to get you what is rightfully yours sets us apart from the rest.

We offer the very highest standard of customer care, whilst being warm, friendly and courteous, and ensure that every step of the claim process is as clear and straightforward as possible.

Manual Handling FAQ's

What Injuries Could I Claim For?

Manual handling injuries are placed under the category of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This is a term which covers any injury, damage or disorder which causes harm and discomfort to the joints or the tissue in your limbs or most commonly the lower back. Musculoskeletal disorders account for more than a third of all work-related injuries and can cause seriously excruciating pain.

Michael Lewin’s have helped a number of clients to claim compensation after they’ve been involved in manual handling accidents, with injuries including:

  • Muscular injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Injuries to arms and legs (including fractures and breaks)
  • Worsening existing medical conditions

What Regulations Should My Employer Have Followed?

Employers who know their staff will be conducting manual handling as part of their role should follow the regulations set out as part of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992). This particular piece of legislation provides advice for activities including lifting, pushing, lowering, pulling and carrying. Your employer duty would be to ensure these rules are followed and provide guidance and training in order to prevent lifting that’s too heavy, performed with an awkward posture and to stop existing injuries becoming worse.

Before you are allowed to complete manual handling at work, your employer should always:

  • Advise you on the correct processes for the task
  • Talk to you for your views on any potential hazards
  • Consider the risks associated with the task
  • Check if you have any specific requirements (such as injuries and disabilities)
  • Assess any potential injury risks
  • Check if the risk of injury can be controlled (such as using conveyors, pallet trucks, hoists and lift trucks)
  • Consider whether moving the object/materials is necessary

Who Can Make A Claim?

If an employee has been injured in the last three years as a result of manual handling, he or she may be eligible to make a claim.

To make a successful claim, you’ll need to establish and prove your injuries have resulted from manual handling accident.

Get In Touch Today

If you think you might have a Manual Handling claim, but you’re not too sure, or just not sure what you should do next, then get in touch with us. We can help you make sense of the whole situation you are in and suggest the best way forward for you – free of charge.

Just use the short form below or email us (ID@michaellewin.co.uk) and we will get back in touch with you, or alternatively talk to a member of our team today on 0113 200 9787.

Make a Manual Handling compensation claim today!


Simply complete this short form and one of our personal injury experts will be in touch soon.

Was the accident in the past three years? *
 Yes No

Did you receive medical treatment or visit your GP/hospital? *
 Yes No

Was the accident your fault? *
 Yes No

Have you claimed before? *
 Yes No

Have you reported the accident?*
 Yes No

Your confidentiality is always assured and we aim to provide excellence in our client care.


See what our customers think of us…

find out more


See staff from this department

find out more