I want to claim compensation for a factory injury due to a manual handling error. I had to lift an irregularly shaped heavy item at work and injured my back. Is a claim for compensation possible?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is possible to claim compensation for a factory injury due to a manual handling error; however it is important that you speak with a personal injury solicitor about your case. Claiming compensation for a factory injury due to a manual handling error will only be possible if you can establish and prove that the manual handling error was primarily due to the negligence of your employer. Since the accident involved you making a manual handling error, it is important that the circumstances of the accident are assessed by a solicitor.

A claim for a factory injury due to a manual handling error will be affected by any contributory negligence on your part. If you were instructed on the correct lifting techniques and failed to lift the object as instructed, or if lifting equipment was provided and you chose not to use it, you will not be eligible to make a claim for a factory manual handling error at work. Only after the exact circumstances of the accident have been assessed by a personal injury solicitor will it be possible to determine whether you are eligible to claim compensation for a factory injury due to a manual handling error.

One of the leading causes of manual handling errors at work is inexperience of workers; however inexperience leading to a manual handling error being made may be the fault of an employer rather than the individual concerned. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that all workers receive appropriate training in the workplace to enable them to perform manual handling duties safely.

If awkward and heavy items need to be lifted, lowered or moved, employers must ensure that employees are not placed at risk by doing so. An employer must complete regular risk assessments in the workplace to ensure that all manual handling can be performed safely and without risk of injury to the staff. A failure to provide the appropriate lifting equipment, ensure that workers are trained and properly supervised can be classed as negligence. If an employee is injured as a direct result of that negligence, a claim for compensation for a manual handling error may be possible even if the victim has made a manual handling error.

It should certainly be possible for you to make a claim for a factory injury due to a manual handling error if your employer has been negligent by instructing you to perform tasks which were dangerous or if you lacked the skills or training to perform them safely.