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Even with the best will in the world, accidents can (and do) happen from time to time. Here we take a look at some of the most common types of accidents which typically happen in workplaces across the UK …
Falls from Height
All employers (regardless of industry type) are legally required to keep their workers safe and must comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (‘WAHR’) at all times. There are lots of guidance notes available from various resources (including the Health and Safety Executive) as to how employers should help to minimise the types of accidents which are caused by falling from heights, including more industry-specific information such as working at height in the construction industry and workplace transport etc.
Injured by a Forklift
Under basic health and safety regulations, all employers are expected to provide their forklift drivers and operators with basic training before allowing them to operate machinery in the workplace and any failure to do this could certainly mean they’ve been negligent in their duty of care. Being run over or crushed by a forklift truck is a common injury experienced in the workplace where these machines are operated.
Exposure to Hazardous Substances
Many industry types require workers to handle and transport hazardous substances through an array of different situations – however, this should never be done without the relevant training, (or supervision if deemed appropriate).
All employers are required to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (as amended) and ensure that all employees understand how best to work with hazardous goods. Unfortunately, the fact remains that, each and every year, thousands of workers fall ill through the use and handling of hazardous substances, which can even lead to contracting certain lung diseases.
Employers should also provide safety data sheets and assess any element of risk on a regular basis which should then be documented. What’s more, if you need to wear personal protective equipment as part of your job role then this must also be provided by your employer, free of charge.
Injured by Heavy Machinery
When it comes to the operation of heavy machinery in the workplace, then the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 apply and require that your employer takes certain steps to ensure your safety at all times.
Unfortunately, heavy machinery is capable of causing so many accidents – and even fatalities. For this reason, it’s imperative that all working machinery is properly maintained and serviced at all times and that all employees have very specific training for the equipment they’re required to use as part of their job role.
Furthermore, if machinery is controlled by programmable electronic systems, then any changes to programmes must be carried out by a competent and fully trained person and a written record should be kept of equipment maintenance at all times.
Injured by Powered Gates
Unfortunately, there have been a number of incidents involving powered gates over the years – some of which have even resulted in fatalities, which could have so easily been avoided had the employer taken proper care.
When first supplied, all powered gates are subject to the European Machinery Directive (implemented by the supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008) and must be supplied with both user instructions and a declaration of conformity.
If you’ve been injured or trapped by powered gates at work then your employer may be liable to pay compensation under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992; as well as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. However, if you’re in any doubt whatsoever, simply call our legal team on our Freephone number and let us point you in the right direction.
There can be little doubt that all industry types carry an element of risk but, of course, some are more exposed to risk than others (such as the construction, fishing and agricultural industries).
However – whatever type of injury you’ve suffered as a result of being at work then the team at Smith Jones Solicitors are here to help you every step of the way. We specialise in personal injury claims – but don’t just take our word for it – why not give us a call and see how we can help. We’re fairly confident you’ll be glad you did!