What is an Accident at Work?
This covers a broad range of circumstances that can result in an injury or illness in the workplace. Everything from a trip on loose cables to contracting an industrial disease through exposure to hazardous chemicals at work can be classed as an accident at work.
Employers are legally obliged to look after the health and safety of their employees. If your employer has failed to do this,, then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
What are my employers’ responsibilities?
Employers have a duty to protect their employees in the workplace. For example :
- Providing health and safety training.
- Providing Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, high-vis clothing, shoe covers etc.
- Training staff on how to use machinery.
- Carrying out regular maintenance of machinery and equipment.
- Displaying warning signs such as ‘wet floor’ and cleaning up spillages.
What are the main causes of work accidents?
The most common causes include:
Falls: Scaffolders, roofers and construction workers etc. are at risk of falling if they are not provided with proper health and safety equipment.
Employers must adhere to the Work at Height Regulations to ensure that their employees are safe.
- Ensuring that all surfaces are dry, sturdy and free from obstacles.
- Ensuring that all equipment is in good working order.
- Providing the right PPE.
Slips and trips: These can occur in all workplace environments, from offices to construction sites and everything in between. They are commonly caused due to:
- Loose cables
- Spillages not cleaned up
- Uneven surfaces
Employers are obliged to reduce the risk of slips, and trips by:
- Cleaning up spillages and displaying warning signs.
- Maintaining a tidy workplace.
- Ensuring that flooring is even.
Handling Injuries: One of the most common injuries is a result of manual handling. Injury or damage to the joints or soft tissue in the limbs and back is common. They can happen as a result of:
- Lifting, carrying or dragging, heavy objects.
- Repetitive movement of arms, legs and back, leading to an injury or exacerbating an existing injury.
Your employer should do the following:
- Carry out a risk assessment.
- Implement any measures that can aid in the heavy lifting such as using pallet trucks, hoists or conveyors
- Conduct health and safety training
Road Accidents: For employees with a job that involves a lot of time on the road including, accidents can always be a possibility.
Employers can help to reduce work-related road accidents by managing drivers, vehicles and journeys.
- Training drivers: Drivers can be trained on safely manoeuvring vehicles.
- Maintaining vehicles: Ensure that vehicles go through regular maintenance checks to make sure that they are safe and road worthy.
- Managing journeys: It is also important to implement a policy of regular breaks to reduce the chance of collisions caused due to fatigue.
Can I claim compensation?
If it can be shown that your employer is liable for causing your illness or injury then it may be possible to pursue a claim against them. Compensation would be paid to you from their employer's liability insurance.
Should an accident at work be reported?
It is important to report your accident and to ensure that the details of what happened are accurately recorded in the company accident book. Keep a copy for yourself too.
By reporting your accident, you have evidence of what happened to you, which can be used in support of your injury claim. By reporting the incident, you can also help to safeguard others from experiencing anything similar in the future.
How can I make a work injury claim?
If you have suffered injuries through a workplace accident, contact Corries Solicitors at 01904 527430.
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“Thank you for the cheque for £19,000 in settlement of my claim. Fingers crossed there will not be any further accidents; however I would like to thank you for the professional manner in which you dealt with my accident claim. The most important part of a solicitor's job is communication and I must thank you for the way you kept me updated on what was going on.”
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