Accidents at Work

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Accidents at Work

If you have suffered an injury during the course of your employment, due to the negligence and/or breach of statutory duties by your employers, MRH Solicitors can help you to recover damages, that is, compensation for your injuries. Our dedicated solicitors who specialise in workplace and industrial accidents, have dealt with a wide range of workplace accidents.

UK Health and Safety legislation is designed to protect employees and to reduce the risk of accident and injury in the workplace. If you have been involved in an accident at work then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries and the associated financial losses, for example, loss of earnings whilst off work recovering from your injuries.

at-work

Health and Safety regulations cover all forms of workplace accidents and injury including:

  • Working at Height
  • Lifting
  • Use of Machinery and Equipment
  • Use of Safety Equipment
  • Tripping and Slipping

As well as helping you ultimately to claim compensation, we can also help you with your private medical treatment costs and rehabilitation requirements, for example, for physiotherapy following the injury if necessary.

This may include private treatment arranged by and paid for by the Defendant, that is the employer’s insurers or from an interim compensation payment paid to you whilst your claim is progressing to allow you to have the treatment on a private basis.

Manual Handling Accidents

Manual work can carry with it potential risks of injury to the employee asked to carry out such work. It is an employer’s duty to provide adequate protection for their employees against such risks. Workers often suffer injury when that protection is missing or is flawed. Manual handling injuries may be minor, but some injuries can be devastating and in extreme cases can even cause death.

Typically manual handling involves moving or supporting a load including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving of goods and/or equipment by hand or by use of bodily force. Therefore, the definition of manual handling is extremely wide.

Manual handling accidents can result in:

  • Back injuries
  • Upper and Lower limb injuries
  • Muscular injuries
  • Aggravation of pre-existing conditions

In order to reduce the risk of an injury to an employee due to manual handling activities at work, the employer has to take all reasonable steps to avoid any manual handling tasks that are likely to cause injury.

If such manual handling tasks are unavoidable, then an employer has to assess the process being undertaken and take any appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level possible. The employer also has to take into account the individual employee’s suitability for carrying out the required manual handling activities.

Each worker should be notified of any risks identified in the risk assessment relating to their manual handling activities.
Our expert accident at work solicitors at MRH Solicitors with their many years of experience in dealing with manual handling accident claims, regularly find that employers fail to:

  • Provide suitable lifting equipment
  • Organise the work appropriately
  • Provide adequate manpower
  • Provide proper training

Fail to consider an individual’s suitability to undertake the work

Many people think that if they have had problems with their back previously, they will not be able to make a claim for back injury caused at work.

However, you may be able to do so if:

  • A pre-existing back condition has been aggravated further
  • Symptoms have developed earlier than they would have because of an accident at work

Accidents On Construction Sites

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work and accidents on construction sites can lead to very serious injuries and in some cases to fatalities.

The onus is on employers to protect their employees and others on a construction site from an accident and injury. When this protection is missing or flawed serious injury or even death can result, so it is important that steps are taken by the employer to reduce the risk of accidents on construction sites.

The specialist employers liability solicitors at MRH Solicitors have over the years been involved in pursuing claims for compensation for clients who have suffered injuries as a consequence of an accident on a construction site due to the employer’s failure to discharge their legal duty of care owed to their employees to ensure their basic health and safety whilst at work to include accidents involving:

  • Falling from scaffolding
  • Faulty or defective machinery on a construction site
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Electrocution
  • Manual Handling

Construction sites present many unique occupational hazards for employees which are not generally present in other places of work and as such can be more dangerous places to work in.
For example, employees are often required to work at height with the associated danger that they may fall, they encounter the risk of falling objects whilst working at ground level on site, there may be holes in the ground creating a hazard, heavy machinery moving on site, hazardous substances and heavy lifting equipment all of which increase the likelihood of a potential injury to an employee.

Whilst the Health and Safety Executive is actively involved in trying to prevent accidents within the construction industry, many construction sites still continue to operate dangerous practices, despite the various pieces of legislation being in place to protect workers on building sites.

If the Health and Safety regulations are complied with fully by employers, there effectively should not be any injuries due to accidents on construction sites as they offer full protection for employees.

Therefore, if an injury does occur on a construction site to an employee, there is a good chance that the employer or their appointed contractors have been at fault and in breach of their duty of care owed to their employees.

Amputations

Suffering a serious injury at work such as one requiring an amputation of a limb is a particularly traumatic experience for the employee concerned.

This trauma can be made all the more difficult to come to terms with if there are issues with waiting lists on the NHS for rehabilitation, long delays in appointments with prosthesis experts and financial hardship due to not being able to return to work.

At MRH Solicitors our experienced solicitors understand the issues affecting you and your family following an amputation and we know what positive action to take in order to make a difference to you directly following your unfortunate accident both in the short term and in the longer term.

Our solicitors can give you expert advice and support in pursuing your amputation injury claim and they will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you are entitled to following the serious injury suffered by you.
We can also provide help and support to assist you in obtaining rehabilitation, for example, by arranging any treatment on a private basis and securing interim payments from your employers insurers to fund the treatment on a private basis or to acquire the state of the art prosthesis to improve as much as possible your quality of life.

Injuries leading to amputations can happen in any number of ways, but those most common in the workplace include:

  • Contact with unguarded or defective machinery
  • Crush injuries from heavy falling objects
  • Becoming trapped by a vehicle

We understand at MRH Solicitors that the effects of an amputation injury are life changing not only because of their physical impact, but some people who suffer an amputation injury also develop psychological or psychiatric illnesses such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Not surprisingly, these factors must also be taken into account when assessing a potential amputation claim.

At MRH Solicitors we ensure that the full impact of your accident is properly considered and your damages, that is your “compensation” takes into account all reasonable needs that you have both now and in the future, for example, the cost of adaptations to your house and the need for care and assistance on a private basis as you get older.

Defective Equipment

As an employee you have a right to expect your employers to protect you adequately from any foreseeable risks of injury associated with using any equipment needed by you to do your job.
If that protection is inadequate, injury can often result due to the use of equipment and machinery at work. Injuries caused by faulty or defective work equipment can be serious and in extreme cases can even cause death.

Industrial equipment must be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended and it should be subjected to a thorough Risk Assessment to identify any potential risks of injury that may arise from it’s use.

Every employer must take steps to ensure that their employees do not use defective work equipment. This includes a duty upon the employer to:

  • Withdraw faulty work equipment from service immediately until it has been repaired.
  • Make sure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient working order and is kept in good repair. Regular inspections of machinery must take place if the equipment is exposed to conditions likely to cause deterioration.
  • Ensure that all employees are adequately trained in the methods of use, the risks and the precautions to take relating to the equipment and machinery that they are required to use whilst at work. Measures must be taken to protect employees against dangerous machine parts, for example, ensuring that guards are present at all times and that protective equipment should be provided if necessary, for example, goggles or gloves to minimise the risk of injury associated with using that particular machine.
  • Inform employees of the potential dangers when a Risk Assessment has highlighted specific risks relating to machinery and equipment used by them at work.

If you have had an accident thereby suffering injury due to work equipment or machinery that you believe to have been faulty, you may be entitled to a claim for compensation against your employer.

Inadequate PPE

Employers are required by law to protect workers who operate in hazardous conditions from the risks that can be present in their working environment.

That requirement includes a duty to provide the correct protective work equipment and this must be in full working order. When an employer fails to provide their employees with adequate safety or protective equipment, injuries can happen.

If you have been injured at work due to inadequate protective equipment being provided to you by your employer or where there has been a total lack of protective equipment being provided to you by your employer which would have prevented or lessened the extent of your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation against your employer for their breach of duty of care owed to you as an employee.

Although employers must do what they can to minimise and prevent risks which may lead to an accident at work, some risks can only be effectively dealt with by your employer providing you with ‘Personal Protective Equipment’ (PPE) including:

  • Hard hats
  • Safety boots
  • High visibility jackets
  • Welding masks
  • Goggles
  • Ear protection
  • Breathing apparatus
  • Protective gloves

Given the various types of Personal Protective Equipment that exist depending on the industry and the nature of the employment, this type of accident where the employer fails to provide adequate PPE resulting in injury can occur in many different ways within the workplace.

Falls From Height

Falls from height at work injury claims are not uncommon in the UK, especially within the construction industry, in which such accidents are the largest single cause of fatalities and major injuries.

Here are some common examples of injuries resulting from falls at work:

  • Falling through fragile material such as skylights or unsafe tiles
  • Falling off from steelwork, ladders, stairs, edges, openings and scaffolding

However, employers can reduce the risk to their employees of being injured due to falling from heights by conducting proper Risk Assessments and investigating safer alternative working methods.

If a particular task has to be completed at height, the employer is required by the Health and Safety legislation to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures are in place to prevent an employee from falling a distance likely to cause injury or death. Such measure might include barriers or harnesses.

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