Can I claim office lifting injury compensation for a serious back injury sustained when I was moving office chairs and desks for a staff meeting? I have been in tremendous pain and have not been able to work since the accident.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

A claim for office lifting injury compensation can be made for an injury sustained in the workplace while lifting any object; be that lifting or moving office computers, lifting and moving office desks and chairs, furniture or even boxes of photocopier paper, provided that lifting an object at work caused an injury to be sustained – or an existing injury to be aggravated – and the injury could have been prevented were it not for the negligence of your employer.

When members of staff are required to perform manual handling in the workplace, employers must provide training on the correct technique to use. Training is often provided to staff who are required to perform regular lifting as part of their day to day duties; however employers should ensure that all staff receive training – even those who may occasionally be called upon to lift office furniture.

It does not require a heavy load to be lifted for an injury to be sustained, and even moving an office chair for a staff meeting can cause a highly serious back injury. A lack of training on correct lifting techniques can certainly be grounds for making a claim for office lifting injury compensation.

The office staff are often called upon for minor manual handling such as moving or lifting computers or lifting office chairs and desks for meetings. While a chair without wheels is unlikely to be heavy, lifting an office chair still has potential to cause a serious musculoskeletal injury. Manual handling of awkward objects such as an office chair can easily place the body outside of its normal position, and can all too easily cause muscle strains to be suffered or even a slipped disc.

Manual handling of loads is covered as part of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations (2007) which places a legal responsibility on employers to reduce manual handling to the bare minimum. Moving and lifting office furniture can place staff at risk, and this should be included in the risk assessments performed by employers. Training must be provided to any staff before moving objects in the workplace is permitted. Failure to do so is certainly grounds for making a claim for office lifting injury compensation.

To confirm whether you are eligible to claim office lifting injury compensation you should speak with a personal injury solicitor. While office lifting injury compensation can be claimed in many cases, proving negligence in office lifting injury claims can be complicated and the experience of a personal injury solicitor can be invaluable.