Manual Handling Operation Gone Wrong

An employer was fined last week after an employee was trapped under two-and-a-half tonnes of slabs.

The employee was unloading pallets of the slabs from a truck when the slabs fell and trapped him against a pallet.

He sustained serious injuires to his arm and chest, requiring surgery on a number of occasions.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that the employer had failed to protect the employee from the risk of falling stone slabs during handling operations. The employer pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety etc. at Work Act 1974 and was fined £5,000.

As we have previously written on this blog, employers have a duty to minimise the risk to employees presented by manual handling operations. What is oftern overlooked however, is that under Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, avoid altogether the need for employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of them being injured.

The risk of injury caused by manual lifting heavy objects is huge. Often, steps can be taken to avoid that risk completely by introducing mechanical assistance in the form of hoists or other lifting equipment.

If you have been injured in an accident at work, Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP specialise in Employers Liability Law and can advise you.