…another major cause of injury, which causes nearly one quarter of reported injuries at work (24%), accounting for more than 900,000 lost working days each year.
Often caused by seemingly innocuous incidents, these types of claims will generally run well into five figures by the time potential damages and legal costs are taken into account. It is therefore always worthwhile putting the time and money into risk assessing all manual handling operations and implementing suitable preventative and protective measures at the outset, to minimise the risk of these types of accidents occurring in the future.
Here are a few ‘live’ examples from some of Hettle Andrews’ clients to demonstrate the types of risks and potential costs involved:
An employee at one of our valued Education Sector clients routinely needed to carry large boxes of paperwork and files to and from their car, without the assistance of any trolley or lifting aid. This created a reasonably foreseeable manual handling risk which manifested when on one occasion the member of staff in question dropped the box and, in and trying to catch it, injured their back. The current reserve being held by insurers on this claim (being their best estimate of the likely cost) stands at more than £35,000!
Another Hettle Andrews education client has a claim ongoing where an employee injured their shoulder pushing a cleaning machine. Again, this claim runs into five figures with; £2,000 having already been paid in interim damages and a further £14,500 being held ‘on reserve’ by the insurance company, to cover the potential legal fees and damages that may have to be paid in settlement of this claim.
It is not all doom and gloom though…
A recent success story from one of our manufacturing clients has seen a claim where the employee, allegedly, suffered a hernia as a result of repetitive manual handling operations. This claim did have a reserve of £22,000 in the not too distant past, however, a successful defence has now been made by the insurance companies’ nominated solicitors and the eventual costs (i.e. those that could not be recovered) ended up being just £120.