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Accidents in the Workplace / Work Related Illnesses

Most workplace accidents are unintentional but preventable. Employers must ensure work premises and practices are safe, conduct regular health and safety assessments, and implement measures to mitigate risks.

Neglecting these duties endangers workers, customers, and the public. You can claim compensation for work-related injuries, regardless of your employment status or if you were a visitor at the time of the accident.

Examples of the Types of Accidents at Work

It is common knowledge that construction sites and building sites are often one of the most dangerous places to work and thousands of construction workers are injured on site every year.

Many accidents are caused as a result of:

  • Falls from height including ladders
  • Defective scaffolding
  • Poor layout of the site
  • Tool and machinery malfunctions
  • Safety harnesses failure
  • Holes in roofs and flooring not fenced off or supported
  • Hit by forklift/dumper trucks or other vehicles
  • Chemical spillages
  • Insufficient or no safety briefings
  • Inadequate lighting

If you have been injured whilst working or visiting a building site or construction site our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers can assist.

All dock operations relating to the loading, unloading, fuelling or provisions of a vessel are covered by The Docks Regulations 1988 which impose a number of health and safety obligations including:

  • The provision of and properly maintained safe means of access to every part of the dock premises
  • Maintenance of floors, docks, surfaces, stairs, steps, passages and gangways
  • Keeping premises free from tripping and slipping hazards
  • Suitable and adequate lighting
  • Appropriate warning signs

If you have been injured whilst working or visiting dock premises then our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers can assist.

There is a saying that you should never work with animals and whilst rigorous safety procedures should always be in place on farms and in agricultural environments, farm accidents involving animals and machinery still frequently happen.

Common farm injuries and illnesses can be caused by:

  • Farm accidents involving vehicles
  • Falling from a height or being hit by a falling object
  • Accidents caused by inadequate training or lack of proper safety equipment
  • Dust exposure causing “farmers lung”
  • Tools and heavy duty machinery
  • Dangerous animals

If you are an agricultural worker or a visitor to a farm and have suffered an accident or injury then our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers can assist.

Approximately 4 in 10 workplace claims arise from manual handling accidents and whilst it is recognised that manual labour involves a certain level of risk, the law nevertheless requires the highest levels of safety and care to be put in place to protect and look after employees when undertaking these tasks. This requires employers to provide correct training, to carry out risk assessments on both the employee and on the manual handling procedure itself and to ensure that wherever possible the risk is reduced to the lowest level possible.

Manual handling injuries typically involve back injuries, leg and arm injuries, muscular injuries and can also make existing injuries or constitutional joint and back symptoms considerably worse. If you have been injured, or suffered a repetitive strain injury due to manual handling procedures, including lifting or transporting items then we have a dedicated team of specialist personal injury lawyers who can assist.

The law requires all employers to put the right safety procedures and systems in place to ensure that your workplace environment is kept as safe as possible. If you have been injured in your own workplace, or when attending other workplaces in the course of your employment, you may be entitled to compensation.

Typical examples include:

  • Defective premises including uneven floor surfaces and faulty equipment/fixtures
  • Slipping and tripping hazards
  • Failure to display wet floor signs after cleaning
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Faulty doors and windows
  • Failing to fix any or any adequate handrails on stairs and access points
  • Being struck by a falling object

We have a dedicated team of lawyers who specialise in employer liability claims and can help.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations covers all nature of work equipment, from complex pieces of machinery to everyday appliances such as chairs as well as all other apparatus and tools used for all types of workplaces. The law requires the employer to ensure that any work equipment provided is fully functional, safe to use and suitable for the purpose provided.

Notwithstanding the duties, thousands of accidents occur every year due to unsafe work equipment, and typical examples include:

  • Failure to ensure that the work equipment provided is suitable for the purpose for which it is provided or suitable for the place in which it will be used
  • Failing to ensure that the work equipment is adequately maintained and is free from defects
  • Failing to ensure that the work equipment has been correctly assembled or installed
  • Failing to provide suitable protection from dangerous parts of the machinery such as by fixing guards or similar protection devices
  • Failing to provide the employee with adequate training and adequate health and safety information regarding use of the equipment
  • Failing to ensure that the equipment is suitably stabilised and/or suitably lit
  • Where work equipment or the substances produced are of a very high or very low temperature, failing to provide the employee with protection to prevent injury

We have a dedicated team of lawyers who specialise in employer liability claims and can help if you have been injured when using work equipment.

Unfortunately far too many accidents in the workplace occur not because equipment or the workplace itself is substandard, but because employees have not had the necessary training or have not been provided with the necessary instructions, health and safety information or supervision to ensure that they carry out their work in a safe way.

The law requires all employers to carry out detailed risk assessments which should identify any and all risks associated with work tasks, work procedures and work methods and then to provide suitable and adequate training and instruction as well as adequate information and supervision to those employees who carry out all of the tasks covered by the risk assessment.

Inadequate training and supervision places all employees at risk and therefore even if you have received adequate training, you may still be placed at risk in the workplace if a colleague hasn’t.

If you have been injured in an accident which could have been avoided had you been provided with adequate training, instruction and supervision, or if you have been injured by a colleague who has not received adequate training then we have a dedicated team specialising in employer liability claims who can help you.

Employers are under a duty to ensure that suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided to employees at risk to their health and safety while at work as part of their duty of care. Employers must ensure that PPE is appropriate to the risk involved, the conditions at the place where the exposure to the risk may occur and that it takes into account not only the nature of the work involved, but also the health of the persons who are required to wear it.

Common examples of PPE are as follows:

  • Gloves and gauntlets
  • Eye shields/eye goggles
  • Safety helmets, scalp protectors (bump caps) and hairnets
  • Safety boots and safety footwear
  • High visibility clothing
  • Ear protection/earplugs/ear defenders
  • Safety harnesses or back supports
  • Postal pegs
  • Respiratory face masks
  • Body protection including protective overalls and clothing for cold, heat and bad weather
  • Life jackets

Not only must the employer identify what PPE would be appropriate for the nature of the work that employees are required to undertake, but they must also have effective systems of maintaining PPE as this is essential to ensure that it continues to provide the necessary degree of protection.

Typical injuries caused by a failure to provide any or any adequate PPE can include:

  • Cuts and puncture wounds
  • Suffering burns and scalding injuries from hot surfaces and exposure to chemicals etc
  • Head injuries caused by falling objects
  • Noise induced deafness/hearing loss
  • Breathing in harmful fumes or toxins
  • Eye damage
  • Frostbite/cold exposure
  • Crush injuries
  • Electrical shock injuries
  • Chemical splashes and burns
  • Welding flashes

If your employer hasn’t provided you with adequate protective equipment for your job or has failed to maintain the equipment provided and you suffer from an accident or other illness, we have a dedicated team of specialist employer liability lawyers who can help you.

If you have suffered from a Personal Injury, our professional team can assist. Please click here for further detail as to how we can help.

Contact Williamsons Solicitors on 01482 323 697.

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