Manual work often carries potential risk for employees. Employers have to provide adequate protection for employees against those risks.

The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Regulations impose a duty on employers to take appropriate organisational means, in particular by the provision of mechanical equipment, to avoid the need for the manual handling of loads by employees.

Manual Handling and its risks

Manual handling of loads may present a risk particularly of back injury if it is:

  • Unwieldy or difficult to grasp,
  • Unstable or has contents likely to shift,
  • Position in a manner requiring it to be held at a distance from the trunk or would have bending or twisting of the trunk.
  • Too heavy or large

Employees may be at risk if he or she is:

  • Physically unsuited to carry out the task in question,
  • Is wearing unsuitable clothing, footwear or other personal effects , or,
  • Does not have adequate or appropriate knowledge or training.

Employers under Statute have to focus on the prevention of injury through:

  • Risk assessment of systems of work which involve manual handling;
  • Avoidance of manual handling
  • Reduction of manual handling.

Manual handling continues to be the most common accident in Ireland accounting for 25% of all reported non-fatal accidents in 2009. Over €31.4 million was awarded in respect of 972 employer liability claims for work place accidents in 2008 and a review of these injuries showed that over 42% of victims suffered sprain injuries.

The most common injury sustained by people carrying out manual handling at work is a back injury although injuries to arms or feet are also fairly common.

Regardless of where you work, you could be at risk of having a manual handling accident. It is not just workers employed at construction sites, factories and warehouses who are at risk. You could also be injured as a result of a manual handling accident if you work in a supermarket, an office, a hospital or as a delivery driver. Most working environments pose a risk of injury from manual handling.

If you suffered a manual handling injury at work which was not your fault you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation. Please contact our office today at 045 898000 for further advice regarding your rights to claim compensation or simply complete the online personal injury claim form attached and submit it to us.

Download the following Instruction Sheet and return it us:


Had an Accident? Fill in our online Accident Form and get an answer within 24 hours.


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