Most non-fatal workplace injuries caused by manual handling/falling

A scenario of a woman falling down in the stairs, as a colleague rushes to help

You are most likely to injure yourself at work by manual handling or falling, according to recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Although there have been long-term reductions in the number of workers injured each year, the kinds of accidents remain similar.

The latest injury statistics for 2016 show that most non-fatal injuries reported under RIDDOR resulted from:

  • handling, lifting or carrying
  • slips, trips or falls
  • falls from a height.

These types of accidents accounted for 46% of all self-reported, non-fatal injuries to workers.

Someone who is injured in these ways will most likely have a sprain, strain or broken bone. So what should you do to help someone in this situation?

First aid for sprains and strains

Someone who has a sprain or strain may have pain, swelling and bruising around a muscle or joint.

If you suspect your colleague has a sprain or strain, you should take the following steps:

  1. Get the person to rest.
  2. Apply an ice pack to the injury.
  3. If there is no improvement, seek medical advice.

First aid for broken bones

Someone who has a broken bone may have pain, swelling and bruising, and difficulty moving the limb

If you suspect your colleague has a broken bone, you should take the following steps:

  1. Encourage the person to support the injury with their hand, or use a cushion or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement.
  2. As soon as possible, call 999 or get someone else to do it.
  3. Continue supporting the injury until help arrives.

How training can help reduce risk

We offer a moving and handling course which can help to reduce the risk of injury by providing an introduction to proper moving and handling techniques.

And our first aid work courses give you the skills and confidence to respond to a range of first aid emergencies, including helping someone who is suffering from a bone, muscle or joint injury.

Find out more about our courses

Source: Kinds of accident in Great Britain (including fatal and non-fatal injuries), Health and Safety Executive

© British Red Cross 2018