Although there have been great steps taken to help protect employees from accidents in the workplace, they still happen far too often and can lead to very serious injuries. In 2013/14 a total of 77,593 injuries were reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a result of a workplace accidents and 133 people were killed in an accident at work.
Freeclaim Solicitors have over 30 years’ experience helping people claim the compensation they deserve following a workplace accident. Here Freeclaim Solicitors have identified some of the more common accidents in the workplace:
Slips & trips
These accidents can happen in any workplace across all industries. From slipping on spilt water in bathrooms and kitchens, to inappropriate flooring being installed in workplaces, employees and visitors can be at risk in some way or another. Another main cause of trips in the workplace is trailing wires in offices. Employers can reduce the risk of slipping and tripping by providing employees with appropriate footwear for certain flooring and ensuring wires are adequately taped down to avoid the risk of tripping.
Falling from height
Falls from height can result in serious injuries, and quite often death. In 2013/14 falling from height was the most common cause of fatal accidents in the workplace, accounting for 29% of fatal injuries to workers. The most common falls from height in the workplace are falls from ladders. Due to the high risks involved in working at height, it is important employers assess all risks and ensure that workers are protected as far as possible. Falling from height can also include accidents on scaffolding, platforms and staircases.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
This is caused by repetitive motions and activities over a prolonged period of time. This puts pressure on the median nerve which can result in the feelings of numbness and pain in the hands, fingers and wrists. This kind of injury is common in people who undertake a lot of typing in their work, or do repetitive work, such as working on a production line in a factory.
Manual handling & heavy lifting injuries
These were the second most common injury reported to the HSE in 2013/14. Any jobs which require employees to lift or move heavy objects should have full risk assessments carried out and risks minimised as much as possible. Employees should also be provided with full training on how to correctly lift and carry items.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Also known as Industrial Deafness, this occurs when employees are exposed to excessively loud noise whilst at work. Often, the hearing loss does not become apparent until many years after the exposure. It is common in people who have worked in factory environments where machinery can expose employees to loud noise. Employers should reduce volume levels in workplaces, or if this is not possible provide employees with protective ear equipment.
Chemical poisoning & burn injuries due to hazardous materials
Where there is a risk of employees being exposed to dangerous substances or chemicals, employers need to ensure that the correct protective clothing is provided. This can include things such as eye protection and specialist gloves and clothing. Full training should be given to ensure employees know the correct way to handle and control the substances and chemicals.
Collisions involving vehicles
These often occur in warehouse and factories, as well as the farming industry, where vehicles are used daily and occupy the same area as other workers and pedestrians. Many can involve forklift trucks, tractors and combine harvesters, as well as many other vehicles.
Objects and items falling from shelving, or the shelves themselves toppling over, can cause injury to employees. Depending on the weight and size of the objects and the shelving, people can sustain very serious injuries, including head and brain injuries. Employers need to ensure that shelving units are secured correctly to the wall. Any objects on shelves should be stored correctly so there is less risks of them dislodging and falling onto employees.
Accidents involving machinery
Faulty machinery, or incorrect use of machinery can lead to very serious injuries. Common accidents involving machinery include crush injuries to arms or hands getting trapped in moving parts of the machine due to machinery not being adequately guarded. Employees need to be instructed and fully trained on how to operate the machinery and any dangers identified and reduced.
Vibration White Finger (VWF) or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
This is caused by prolonged exposure to vibrating power tools. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in fingers and hands, as well as fingers turning white. If VWF occurs, employers need to reduce the amount of time employers are exposed to vibrating power tools, and closely monitor their employee’s condition.
Claiming compensation after workplace accidents
If you have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, Freeclaim Solicitors could help you claim workplace accident compensation. We have helped our clients claim thousands of pounds in compensation. Your workplace accident claim will not only compensate you for the pain and discomfort your injuries have caused, but also for any loss of earning as a result of your accident and any future needs and assistance you may need.
Call 0800 612 7340 today to speak to one of our expert workplace solicitors today. Or you can simply fill in your details on our online enquiry form, and we’ll call you back.