As with any other hazardous place of work, employers have a legal duty to protect their employees and personnel from the risks and hazards pertaining to working in such an environment. They may be required to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); they will need to keep floors clear of slip and trip hazards as well as providing signage and guidance around heavy machinery and vehicles. This way staff will be more aware of the risks when they enter the area.
Despite all of these precautions, accidents can and do still happen. Some of which, are due to employer negligence.
Factory accidents can involve:
- Being hit by falling objects
- Crushing injuries
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Electric shock or Electrocution
- Exposure to dangerous substances
- Fork lift truck accidents
- Industrial deafness
- Manual handling injuries and strains
- Slips, trips and falls
To prevent these accidents from occurring, employers need to undertake regular, safety and risk assessments to help identify problem areas so that steps can be taken to mitigate the risks or remove them entirely. Training and appropriate PPE should be provided.
VWhere risks and hazards are identified, all employees should be made aware of the hazards, and should be told how to protect themselves from it, either with appropriate equipment or by following particular procedures. This should happen in all workplaces but it can sometimes be neglected.
What Causes Warehouse and Factory Accidents?
The prime cause of most warehouse and factory accidents is health and safety negligence. Some employers will fail in their duty to provide safe working conditions in accordance with the law, and this can lead to accidents, injury and in some cases, fatalities. This may arise where the appropriate protective equipment is not provided, where employees are improperly trained, or where structures or equipment are faulty or unsound.
Personal Protective Equipment is vital. It should be provided free of charge by your employer and you should be given this before you are allowed to begin work. Such equipment should be safety checked and should be provided with the appropriate training and printed instructions to enable safe use. You are not obliged to purchase this yourself and it is wrong of an employer to ask for any form of financial contribution towards this. Where multiple pieces of protective equipment must be used together, it must be compatible so as not to compromise the effectiveness of individual protective items.
Thorough training must be provided to ensure employee safety and to conform to workplace health and safety legislation. This will include a comprehensive induction, along with training on emergency drills, known hazards, working techniques such as proper lifting as well as instructions on how to use the provided protective equipment and tools. This training should be refreshed and catalogued at regular intervals.
Structures and equipment that are a part of the working environment, or are vital to the work carried out by personnel, should be checked regularly and inspected for damage, signs or wear and faults. These inspections need to be carried out by qualified individuals and where problems are found, repairs or replacements should be made before being used again. Such inspections and repairs should be recorded and catalogued.
In the case of an accident where none of these health and safety requirements were met, you may be eligable to make a claim for factory accident compensation. The sum will depend largely upon the specific conditions of your accident and the severity of your injury. To ensure the success of your claim, you should seek legal aid from an expert personal injury solicitor.
Factory Accident Symptoms
The symptoms for factory accident injuries are so varied it would be difficult to list them all, but most symptoms will be obvious, often resulting in broken bones, crushing injuries, trauma, concussion and in some cases, head and brain damage.
The symptoms experienced as a result of a factory or warehouse accident will be dictated by the kind of injury sustained, but there are some symptoms that may not be immediately apparent. In the case of a crushing injury sustained from a fork lift truck accident, the pain and symptoms will be obvious. Where a slip or fall has occurred, you could experience lasting, deep tissue damage that could later contribute towards a WRULD or a long-term injury that may affect your performance at work.
There are other symptoms that you may experience, such as noise induced hearing loss when working alongside heavy machinery, dermatitis where your work involves potential exposure to harmful or irritating substances; as well as chemical burns, lung damage and other more serious side effects when working within certain environments.
Factory Injury Diagnosis
Due to the wide variety of injuries that can be sustained in a factory accident, your diagnosis will be dependent upon the circumstances of the accident; but often pain and swelling will accompany most breaks or trauma. If the initial injury was not so severe that you had to take time off, you could still be injured. As such, it is wise to consult with your GP anyway, just in case your injury has the ability to cause long-term damage. When speaking with your GP they will explore a number of areas.
These can include:
- Discussing medical and work history, exploring your role and the equipment provided.
- Any recent injuries, accidents or events that may have affected you
- Symptoms presenting whilst working or at rest that might be related to an occupational injury
- Whether symptoms are aggravated by repetitive tasks
Other injuries can be far more severe. Falls from height can result in partial to full paralysis, whilst electrical shocks can cause irreparable damage to the heart. If you have been hit by falling objects, you may suffer from a concussion which can take days, weeks or even months to recover from, depending upon the severity of the impact. In cases like these, you may have to take time off work, incurring a substantial loss of income.
In situations like these, added financial security can give you peace of mind, and the freedom to focus on healing. So if you have been involved in a warehouse or factory accident, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor to determine whether or not you can make a factory accident compensation claim.
Factory Accident Treatment
The treatment you receive will depend entirely upon the cause and severity of your injury. In the event fractures or bone breaks, you may be put in a cast, provided with splints or given walking aids, whilst painkillers may be given to manage the pain. Where deep tissue damage has occurred, causing ligament, tendon or muscle damage, physiotherapy and drug therapy may be recommended to help you regain muscle strength and flexibility.
Where a more severe or specific form of injury has been sustained, the treatment will be tailored to your circumstances so you should always consult with your GP to ensure that you receive the correct treatment.
Factory Accident Compensation Claims
The scope for injury in a warehouse or factory can be huge. Dangerous machinery will likely be in use throughout the facility, with large moving parts, generating noise and often producing heat, fumes and chemicals which can all lead to injury. Falling tools and materials can also pose a hazard, whilst moving vehicles, hazardous substances and working at height can all pose a threat. Due to the pervasive risks and hazards on-site in many warehouses and factories, it is your employer’s legal duty to minimise these risks wherever possible to prevent injury to you and your colleagues.
There are however, many employers that do not fulfil this duty either through purposeful negligence or through ignorance of health and safety guidelines and legislation. Your employer’s legal responsibilities are very clear, so if you are injured as a result of a factory accident they may well be liable to pay compensation.
If you have worked within your role for a long time, or if you are familiar or friendly with your management team, you may feel hesitant and nervous about making a claim for factory accident compensation. You should not allow this to deter you. If your injuries were sustained due their negligence or because your working environment was unsafe, your injury is their fault. They will be covered by an insurance policy that caters for accidents like this, whilst the law protects employees that make a claim so they have no need to worry about losing their jobs.
In making a claim for factory accident compensation, you will alert your employer to their neglect of health and safety guidelines; this should motivate them to make changes quickly to protect your colleagues and other on-site staff. So in filing your claim for compensation, you could well be protecting many other people from injury and even death.
If you have been unfortunate enough to become the victim of a factory accident that was not your fault; then you are well within your rights to make a claim for factory accident compensation. To bolster your claim, you should seek professional legal advice from a personal injury solicitor. At Asons solicitors we can provide you with specialist advice and support, helping you with your claim and keeping you updated along every step of the way.
I think I may be affected, what should I do?
If you have suffered an injury resulting from a warehouse or factory accident, then you should speak with your GP and contact us today. If you have suffered a fall, trauma or are experiencing other abnormal symptoms, speak to your GP immediately to prevent the progression of these symptoms.
You should talk to your GP about:
- Any past or present jobs where you were involved in a factory accident
- Any long-term, repetitive tasks you carried out
- Your symptoms and treatment
- Tests you may need
- Whether you should undertake physiotherapy or see a specialist
- How to protect yourself and others
Where your occupation has resulted in an industrial injury, your employer should implement safeguards to prevent further injury and to minimise the risks to other employees. A review of your role and workspace should be completed to identify problem areas so that new techniques and equipment can be recommended to prevent further exposure or injury.
Factory Accidents Support
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provides plenty of helpful information for both employers and victims of factory accidents. It provides brochures and printed material for use in the work place as well as guides and checklists for ensuring employee safety. It also includes directions to other support groups that deal with specific injuries.
Our comprehensive guide to the problem of accidents sustained at work, called Workplace Accidents – The Occupational Hazard, details all types of common claims from falls to electric shocks to hearing loss, alongside remarkable statistics on their occurrence.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of expert factory accident solicitors have a wealth of expertise, and knowledge, that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. So for free, expert advice on pursuing a factory accident claim, speak to us today.