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How Safe Is Your Workplace?

Our North East firm are no strangers to hearing about accidents at work but, as Gemma Tunney explains, it is vital to keep your workplace as safe as possible for employers....

For many of us our day involves getting up, going to work and coming home to repeat the same thing the following day. We do not expect something to happen which may alter our plans and we certainly don’t expect an accident to take place whilst we are trying to earn a living. However, accidents at work unfortunately can and do happen. They have the potential to cause serious injuries, particularly in factories where there can be dangerous machinery. Accidents can occur when the premises or machinery is not properly maintained or if an employee has not been given the proper training.

Employers have a duty of care to their staff. The workplace and equipment ought to be maintained and in good repair. Your employer should also provide personal protective equipment where appropriate. Accidents should not happen and are avoidable by putting in place preventative safety measures. Despite this, according to the Health and Safety Executive during the tax years 2016/17, 137 workers were involved in a fatal accident at work.

If you are involved in an accident at work and find that you are injured, you should seek first aid in the first instance and report the matter to your employer. Your employer should have procedures in place to record details of the accident circumstances and your injuries. If this is not done, you should ask your employer to complete the accident book. The accident book provides a useful record of what happened. It is important that all information recorded within the accident book is accurate. If you disagree with anything that is written you ought to inform your employer. It is important that you seek medical advice from your GP or the hospital so that you can receive the correct treatment. If you are able to do so, you should also try to take photographs of the cause of your accident, such as a wet slippery floor or a dangerous piece of machinery.

If you have been involved in an accident at work you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries you have sustained and also any financial loss that you may have as a result of the accident. On average, each person suffering from a work related illness in tax years 2016/17 took 17 days off work. Most people cannot afford to take that much time off work and it is necessary to try to recover your loss of earnings in your personal injury claim. In some cases you may be able to obtain an interim payment in which case you will receive some of your compensation before the case has settled to cover your immediate needs.

I have recently acted for a client who was injured because of a defective conveyor belt. The defective belt caught her finger and her fingertip was partially amputated. I successfully obtained just under £5,000 in compensation for her injuries and her financial loss. Not only that, her employer put procedures in place to make the working environment safer. I have also recently acted for a client who was hit by an out of control vehicle at work. He suffered both physical and psychological injuries. I successfully recovered just over £5,300 in compensation for him and also arranged treatment so that he is no longer suffering from his injuries.

To find out how much compensation you may be entitled to, take a look at our personal injury calculator.

We have a team of specialists who are highly experienced in pursuing claims for people who have been involved in an accident at work. If you find that you are in this situation, do not delay in contacting our personal injury team. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you and we may be able to offer a No Win No Fee Agreement.