It is your employer’s prerogative to keep you safe at work and free from workplace accidents, so when you are injured at work, it is within your rights to claim compensation if you have been seriously harms and it was of no fault of your own.
There are many lawyers, such as ourselves, to help you make a work accident compensation claim. However, you need to ensure you take the appropriate steps to ensure you are making a successful work compensation claim so that you can get your life back on track.
What causes accidents at work?
Nowadays, there are so many laws in place to prevent accidents at work, that it’s unlikely to be grotesquely inadequate working conditions, and that’s largely thanks to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
That said, sometimes employers do fail to meet all of these standards, and as a result accidents can happen. Here’s a few ways in which safety standards can fail to be upheld:
- Inadequate maintenance of machinery, or using machinery for any other purpose other than which it was designed.
- Inadequate training regarding the risks associated with their work and how to manage these.
- Insufficient training on how to use tools and machinery correctly.
- Necessary training provided, but employees are hired who do not meet the necessary experience requirements.
- Missing out the necessary risk assessments, or not notifying employees about these evaluations. (It’s actually far more effective to do a risk assessment with an employee who has first-hand experience of the processes and techniques being scrutinised. Having an external assessor provide a report on a company or practices they are unfamiliar with does less to benefit the staff).
- Lack of appropriate safety equipment, both for employees and machines.
What are the most common types of injury at work?
The type of accidents you see illustrated in the aforementioned compensation adverts are sometimes fairly representative, but not entirely accurate. There are many ways you can be injured at work.
Here’s a list of common injuries that people can make an accident at work claim for:
- Electric shock
- Eye injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Fractured bones and dislocated joints
- Back and spinal damage
- Muscle strain
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Falls from height
- Exposure to dangerous substances
- Chemical burns
Although strenuous jobs and building sites that contain hazardous materials are sometimes an unfortunate fact of life, measures should always be taken to meet accident at work regulations and avoid a workplace injury claim.
What does this look like in reality?
If your workplace frequently has safety checks but with irregular training, then learning on the job might just be a daily reality – and so accidents can occur. Failing to meet all of the requirements listed above does leave employees vulnerable to injury, regardless of how experienced or comfortable they seem.
Someone works as courier and as a result spends most working days lifting and transporting large boxes. No adequate training means they were never reminded not to bend using their back, and instead bend at the knees.
As a result they end up succumbing to an overexertion injury in their back. The pain as a result of this affects the likelihood of them being able to work in their trained profession for the foreseeable future. The process that would ensue would be a back injury at work claim.
A wet floor in a staff kitchen results in an employee slipping and falling, causing concussion and a cut to the forehead. Extended time off in recovery from the concussion and an infection in the wound results in them having to take extra time off work. Although they eventually make a full recovery and were able to go back to work, they have lost a significant amount of their household income due to only receiving statutory sick pay (SSP) for this period. After something like this, it would be advisable to seek an advisor for an accident at work no win no fee.
What are different accidents at work?
For those who work in more industrial or manual jobs, accidents can take the form of more serious or permanent injuries. The realities of industrial accidents are often far more dangerous than a trip or fall, and can be caused by being exposed to noxious or damaging environments. The severity of these injuries can also induce long-term or chronic illnesses that can cause employees to start investigating accident at work compensation amounts.
Here are a few examples of the industrial accidents and the illness than can be caused as a result and might warrant an accident at work compensation claim:
Asbestosis and Asbestos Mesothelioma
Today, most people are aware of the health risks associated with Asbestos. Asbestosis and Asbestos Mesothelioma are potentially lethal industrial injuries where victims, or their next of kin if they are deceased, can claim accident at work compensation even decades after contact with this outdated building material. Something as serious as this would be open to claiming for workplace accident compensation.
Vibration White Finger
Vibration White Finger (VWF), also commonly known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), affects thousands of workers throughout the United Kingdom. VWF affects blood circulation and blood vessels, muscles, nerves and joints of the hand, wrist and arm. It is caused by the continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery and tools. Those who suffer from VFW often complain of tingling whiteness or numbness in the fingers, hence its infamous name.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an agonising condition that can have a detrimental effect on the person inflicted by this condition. It impacts your wrists and hands, causing weakness, numbness and tingling. The pain and restriction of movement are caused by compression of the median nerve that travels through the wrist. Repetitive hand movements and vibrating tools are likely to cause this condition, and can be the source of an accident at work claim.
Industrial dermatitis or occupational dermatitis can result from damage caused by:
- Contact with hazardous chemicals (Irritant Contact Dermatitis)
- A sensitive reaction (Allergy Contact Dermatitis)
Symptoms of industrial dermatitis can include the following symptoms: itching, swelling, blisters, flaky or dry skin, as well as a stinging or burning sensation.
Cleaners, hairdressers, hospital workers, and anyone who regularly comes into contact with chemicals like chlorine or pesticides are all susceptible to industrial dermatitis, and therefore would be eligible to a no win no fee accident at work claim.
There’s a difference between occupational asthma and the well-known condition that develops in childhood. Indications of occupational asthma can include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, the feeling of your chest being compressed and asthma attacks.
You might also be surprised to know that this isn’t just caused by work environments that are polluted by wood chippings or dust. This can also come as a result of workplaces that are full of natural allergens. Asthma UK explains: “Bakeries, flour mills and kitchens where flour dust and additives in the flour are the second most common cause of occupational asthma.”
When we think of an accident at work or work-related ‘injury’, the association is usually one of immediate, physical harm. However, the psychological effects of a harmful workplace can be incredibly profound on workers. Stress and anxiety can be caused by
- Excessive workloads over a prolonged period
- Being the victim of workplace bullying and/or harassment
- Working in a stressful environment, such as the constabulary force, without adequate emotional care
The mental health charity Mind recommends taking action first: “Ask for help. Everyone needs a hand from time to time. Discuss your workload with your manager. Talk about setting realistic targets and how you can solve any problems you’re having.”
Anyone who feels their employer has harmed their mental health should still consider contacting accidents at work solicitors.
RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI as you will have probably heard it referred to as, is an injury from carrying out the same activity or motion repeatedly over a lengthy period. For instance, it can happen to those who use keyboards and monitors as well as those who work on a production line.
Repetitive Strain Injury typically affects the upper body and can lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands. While this may seem minor, employees are still applicable for work accident injury claims.
While hearing loss might be expected in an industrial setting, it is also common in call centres and agriculture. This condition can be caused by prolonged exposure to noises over 80 decibels or by a single exposure to a sudden loud (over 118 decibels) noise.
Employers should ensure staff who work in a noisy environment have access to proper equipment and adequate protection, otherwise they could be eligible for a workplace accident claim. While noisy or loud work environments might seem unavoidable in some circumstances, your rights should still be upheld with The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
Industrial accidents are unique legal area of injury at work law, as the damage does not show until years after it was done: for example, someone who develops industrial deafness or an asbestos-related disease.
Finding a No Win No Fee lawyer like ourselves is the best way of undertaking legal proceedings for work related accidents.
I had an accident at work, what are my rights?
Suffering injury at your place at work can have a profound effect on not just your physical health, but also your mental health, too. If your employer let you down by not maintaining their workplace health and safety standards or is providing inadequate training, it’s strongly advised that you seek accident at work advice as soon as possible and get an understanding of injury at work rights. This way, you can start to build compelling evidence.
In the United Kingdom, you need to prove by law that not only was the accident not your fault, but that it was as the result of your employer failing to meet regulatory standards. Taking action as soon as possible allows time for the legal process to unfold – waiting will only increase the length of the process.
It’s possible that your employer might deny any wrongdoing whatsoever, in which case litigation might be recommended. This also adds time to the process and you may need to wait several months before hearing about a court date. There is a three-year time limit to bring a worker’s compensation claim to court, so investigating as soon as possible is highly recommended.
What to do after an accident at work
Many people who have succumbed to injury in the workplace are faced with the question: “I’ve had an accident at work what should I do?” It’s hard to know what to do when you’ve been let down by your own employer. However, to improve the likelihood of you succeeding in court, you need to provide solid evidence.
Before you do anything, however, reporting accidents at work to the most relevant management body is the most sure-fire way to ensure the issues is dealt with. This may be your employer, your local authority, or the owner or manager of the facility.
Here’s how to improve your chances accident at work compensation with a work accident lawyer:
- Take photographs of the accident site and take note of any other conditions, e.g., whether it was raining or at night.
- Take contact details from any witnesses or colleagues who saw or heard your accident. It is also useful to have contact details of anyone who has suffered a similar accident in the same location.
- Keep hold of receipts for any expenses you have incurred as the result of your accident, such as medical treatment, prescriptions, reasonable private medical expenses, damaged personal items or transport to work or hospital.
- Write a daily diary of how you feel both physically and emotionally, as well as any events related to your accident. This will be a useful record to demonstrate the full impact of the accident.
What many people don’t expect is how wide a variety there is in terms of workplace injuries: everything from stress to RSI, to chemical burns are all considered as viable accidents at work claims. The reality of workplace accidents is that they take an emotional toll on employees, both inside and outside of the workplace.
Negligence or careless training from an employer should never be tolerated, especially when a worker’s health is at risk. If any of the above resonates with you and you’ve realised that you might need to visit accident at work solicitors, then the most important thing to do is to begin the accident at work procedure as soon as possible.
Our team of professionals will do their uptmost best to provide you with the compensation claim your deserve. Be sure to contact The Compensation Expertsv to start your claim today.