Can I seek compensation for a manual handling injury in a warehouse? My employer asked me to move a heavy load because the machinery was broken. I hurt my back in the process, but my manager says I can’t claim compensation because I should have noticed the load was too heavy.

Your entitlement to claim compensation for a manual handling injury in a warehouse will depend upon whether your employer has been negligent in their duty to provide a safe working environment. In this case it appears that your manager is liable for your injuries for various reasons. For one, there is the fact that the load would normally have required machinery to move, but was being done in this situation with manual handling. If the object would have normally been too heavy to move without assistance, your employer should have waited until the machinery was working again until the duty was performed.

Your employer was also required to perform a risk assessment to determine whether you were physically capable of performing the task. If they failed to carry out this duty this would be another mistake on their behalf, as they would have determined that you were not able for the heavy load and thus could have avoided your injury. In this situation it would be their negligence — not yours — which caused your injury, making you entitled to compensation.

Before you initiate a claim to determine liability for your manual handling injury in a warehouse, you should seek medical attention for your injuries immediately after your accident. Doing so will prevent a potential counter-argument against your claim that your injury was inconsequential, or that you made your injuries worse by not receiving immediate treatment. You should also make a record of your accident in your employer’s Accident Report Book.

In order to help determine liability for your manual handling injury in a warehouse, you are advised to consult a personal injury lawyer once your injuries allow you to do so. Together you can discuss the specific points relevant to your case and the strength of your claim. Your lawyer can also estimate the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, which will be particularly useful should you be contacted directly by your employer’s insurance company with an unsolicited offer of compensation. As these offers are often far lower than you may otherwise be entitled to, you are advised not to accept until you have consulted with your lawyer who can then negotiate a fairer amount on your behalf.