Getting a handle on manual handling claims: scenarios and preventative measures

Earlier this year we shared with you our latest guide to preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace, including some of the common risk factors and the preventative measures that can be put in place to mitigate them.

As our Director of Casualty Claims and Fraud Rob Lee highlighted in his blog on the subject, the various lockdowns during the height of the pandemic led to many business environments changing which impacted the number of manual-handling related claims we were seeing. Whether this was in relation to one-off incidents or repetitive strain injuries that occur over longer periods of time, the fact that many businesses were closed with employees on furlough meant that overall, we saw declines in these types of claims.

However, as our latest risk insight report shows, one of the biggest concerns for businesses right now is staff shortages, particularly in the HGV and delivery driver space. With manual handling potentially playing a large part in this type of role there is a concern that high staff turnover and lack of training could lead to an increase in these musculoskeletal injuries. 

As we have seen during lockdown, new, inexperienced drivers – through no fault of their own – lack the experience of dealing with the challenges and risks that are inherent in driving commercial vehicles. For example, we have seen a rise in claims involving inexperienced or untrained delivery drivers as much of the retail market moved online and delivery companies looked to rapidly increase their capacity.

Gill Milner, Technical Practice Leader – Casualty, Aviva

HGV and delivery drivers are just one profession which is at risk; in fact Musculoskeletal disorders can be found across many types of workplace environments from factories and building sites to offices.

To help to paint a picture of manual handling risk factors and bring these types of claims to life, we asked our claims expert Steven McCall to describe some typical scenarios and their outcomes. He’s used the examples of a drinks manufacturer and a food packaging plant to tell the story.

Our liability risk expert Mandy Maris then looked at how these could have been avoided in the first place and shared some thoughts on how the client in question could have handled the risk more effectively. 

Need more guidance?

For more information on these and other workplace risks, visit our Aviva Risk Management Solutions website.

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