No matter where you work, there will be risks. Construction and factory roles often result in the most severe accidents and injury, but even the most sedentary jobs can see employees slip or fall resulting in broken bones and debilitating injury. To prevent these risks from becoming a reality, legislation exists to protect staff from these dangers; legislative pieces such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999. These rules clearly define your employer’s responsibilities for ensuring workplace responsibility because whether you are a full-time worker, a part-time worker, agency staff or a contractor you have a right to work in a safe environment.
Before starting in your role, your employer should already have assessed the risks involved in your work and if they employ more than 5 people, they should also have made an official record of these risks as well as their plans to deal with them. Unfortunately some employers neglect to do this and so they allow dangerous practices and procedures to take place.
How do Dangerous Practices Cause Accidents at Work?
Here at Asons solicitors we’ve seen a variety of dangerous practices in the workplace. Some committed out of ignorance, whilst others went unchecked because employers either wished to save money or because they simply could not be bothered to look after their staff.
Common examples of dangerous practices include:
- Employees using tables, chairs or other objects instead of a pair of ladders
- The use of ladders instead of safer scaffolding and platforms
- Employees using tools and work practices unsuitable for the job in hand
- Employees operating or repairing dangerous machinery for which they have received little or no training
- Employees lifting or carrying heavy objects without the correct equipment or training
- Employees provided with no suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Lack of suitable cleaning procedures in place leaving slipping and tripping hazards for Employees
- Failing to separate pedestrian and fork lift traffic areas
- Failing to illuminate walking and working areas and repair potholes or other hazards
- Failing to heed accidents and complaints and carry out fresh risk assessments
- Exposing employees to dangerous chemicals and substances
As a result of employer negligence, the above practices can result in injuries and even death. In the event that personnel are injured due to their employer’s neglect for health and safety regulations, they are eligible to make a claim for compensation. Accidents caused by practices like those above can result in crushing and tearing injuries as well as lacerations, burns, electric shocks, limb amputations and poisoning, as well as bone breakages and other debilitating injuries.
What should happen in the event of an accident?
The plan of action will vary depending upon the severity of the accident. Where someone has fallen from a chair they were standing on, the on-duty first-aider should be present to examine any injuries and to provide support where necessary. Less serious accidents like this should be logged in an accident book.
If an employee was to fall into machinery due to a lack of safety rails or signage, the required response would be much more involved. Where serious accidents like this occur, they should be reported in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). It is vital that all the machinery and equipment involved should is shutdown to prevent further injury to the victim, where they are trapped; it may also help to free them.
Where electricity is involved, the equipment must be isolated from the grid to prevent further injuries to those giving aid. These incidents should also be catalogued in an accident book, whilst onlookers and witnesses should provide their details so they can be contacted in future regarding accidents caused by dangerous practices. The victim should be cared for by the on-duty first-aider until professional help arrives; if the victim is unconscious or bleeding, be sure to keep their airway open and try to control the bleeding as much as possible.
Dangerous Practices Compensation Claims
If you have sustained injuries because of your employer’s neglect for legal health and safety regulations, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. The compensation received will depend upon the injuries sustained, their affect on your life, and the level of negligence on the employer’s part.
At the very least, it is likely that your accident will have resulted in significant pain, inconvenience and time off from work; which can lead to a substantial loss of income. In more serious cases, injuries can have lasting consequences and may even render the victim unable to work in the same role again. In situations like these, it pays to get an expert personal injury solicitor involved as quickly as possible. A successful claim can help to reimburse you for your lost earnings and it can pay towards improved medical care which could help you to return to work.
If you instruct us to proceed with your dangerous practices claim on your behalf, we will collate all of the required evidence and documentation to substantiate your claim. We will manage the entire process whilst providing expert support and advice throughout, doing all the hard work so that you don’t have to.
At Asons Solicitors, we’ve dealt with a variety dangerous practices compensation claims, so we understand how hard it can be for sufferers to take this important and decisive step. The law protects those who come forward to claim compensation, so if you fear for your job security, do not be put off from making a claim. If your employer has been negligent in their duty to provide a safe working environment for you, and you have suffered as a result, compensation is the lawful way for them to make amends.
I think I may be affected, what should I do?
If you have suffered an injury due to employer neglect, then you should contact Asons Solicitors today. We can arrange for you to see a specialist who will be able to determine the best course of treatment, whilst detailing the true extent of your injuries for our records. We can then begin building your claim for dangerous practices compensation.
After consulting with us, you should also notify your current employer. You should speak to them to ensure that your injury can be accommodated, whilst ensuring that appropriate safeguards and measures are put into place to prevent other staff members and colleagues from becoming victims of the same accident that you were involved in.
Hazards In The Workplace Resources
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.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provides plenty of helpful information for both employers and victims of dangerous practices and employer neglect. 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 so you may find added support and information there.
Other sources that may be useful include:
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) – Provide free, confidential and impartial advice about employment rights issues.
Citizens Advice Bureau – Offers free, independent and confidential advice.
Directgov – Information about Employers’ Health and Safety Responsibilities.
Trades Union Congress (TUC) – Learn about Trade Unions and how you can join.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of expert solicitors have a wealth of expertise, and knowledge, that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. For free, expert advice on pursuing a hazards in the workplace claim, speak to us today.