The 5 most common work accidents and injuries

Workplace injuries are commonplace in the UK. While we often have training, risk assessments and dedicated staff in place to reduce the number of incidents, they do still happen. Being a serious injury specialist, Sincere Law deals with these kinds of injury cases on a daily basis. What however, are the most common accidents found within the workplace? We’ve put together the top 5 most common accident type to help you stay alert and avoid serious injury while at work.

1. Slips, trips & falls

Slips, trips and falls are by a long way the most common cause of serious injury to UK workers. In 2014 the number of combined serious slips, trips and falls reported by employees reached just over 27,500.

What’s interesting about this number reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was that all these reported accidents included only incidents resulting in a more than 7 day absence from work. According to statistics, 57% of major injuries to UK employees were the result of a slip, trip or fall on duty.

This type of injury can seriously damage somebody; from slipping on a wet floor and fracturing bones, to tripping over poorly placed objects, causing a fall and potentially risking severe damage to not only bones but the brain if the fall is particularly bad. Negligence is quite often the reason for these accidents, with incorrect equipment, unsafe environments and poor direction being the main causes.

2. Manual handling accidents

With over 18,500 workers injured by manual handling incidents in 2014 (accounting for nearly a quarter of reported injuries) these accidents make up a large number of serious injuries at work each year. Of those injured, 9 out of 10 of 2014’s manual handling accidents involved a longer than 7 day period away from work.

Handling injuries can be incredibly detrimental to the long term health of an employee, even risking their future. The most common injury caused by handling is strain and damage to the back, spine and neck. Spinal injuries can result in permanent trouble with movement, requiring lengthy spells of physiotherapy and possibly forcing early retirement if the person affected cannot perform manual tasks following injury.

Common causes of spinal injuries due to handling are overburdening of a staff member by asking to move something around their workplace and not providing proper training on how to lift and carry. Heavier loads usually require apparatus or machines to move. Proper equipment/machinery should always be provided to avoid injury.

serious injury while at work - Sincere Law

3. Car collisions

Driving is big business in the UK. Thousands of people drive each day in company cars to and from meetings alongside those using the roads keeping our logistics network running strong, be it in a van or a heavy goods vehicle (HGV).

In 2014, 1,504 employees were involved in collisions that resulted in a stay away from work longer than a week. Road traffic accidents can obviously stem a range of injury problems from whiplash, giving the driver back, neck and head problems, to the most severe lacerations, amputations and even fatalities.

4. Burns

Burns at work can come in the form not only as burns from fires; electrical burns can badly scar a person just as much as direct flames. Other burn types include exposure directly to harmful substances like acids or other corrosive materials. The result can be anything from large sections of skin peeling to permanent disfigurement.

Burns as a result of exposure accounts for just over 1,000 serious injuries per year according to HSE statistics. The riskiest environments involve employees who deal with fire or corrosives on a regular basis, working with open flames or handling chemicals for example. The aftermath of burns can be long lasting and have detrimental effects on the victim’s self esteem in later life if they have been disfigured as a result of their accident.

5. Electrical accidents

Everybody is aware of the danger electricity can cause. According to statistical analysis, there are around 1,000 cases of electric shocks in the workplace each year.

Even the lowest voltages such as a 50v plug can apply enough electricity to block signals between brain and muscles, risking the heart stopping, prevention of breathing or intense spasms. Electrical accidents are commonly caused by a failure to identify a risk of electrocution due to exposed wires, faulty equipment or lack of PPC.

Electrical damage can be extremely severe with serious, long lasting, even life changing effects. These include disfigurement and burns from skin contact, loss of function in limbs and long term damage to nerves/nerve endings as well as fatality if the voltage has caused the heart to stop beating properly or affected body function.

Sincere Law - Accidents at work

Be Aware!

With thousands of injuries at work each year, severe and minor, we all need to be aware of risks of our particular workplace. Our advice would be to be proactive and actively challenge managers should you be given incorrect equipment or dangerous instructions and to move any objects likely to cause falls or clean up spillages. Reducing risk is the number 1 priority in workplace safety and in an ideal world everybody will do their part to help not only themselves but their workmates too.

If you have unfortunately suffered as a result of a workplace injury that wasn’t your fault, make sure you call us today for free advice and a no hassle conversation on 0800 092 2896. Alternatively simply fill in our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Serious injuries at work – Not just in the office

It was reported recently on Wales Online that a doctor had suffered a “Serious spinal injury” while on a team bonding trip out in the Bristol channel and was claiming damages from her employer, the NHS. The trip, which was in 2008, was to be an hour long journey involving the party boarding a 9 meter long inflatable boat labelled “The Pioneer”.

 

When Injuries Occur

When it comes to serious injuries at work, we often find ourselves pulled into thinking about very common situations such as falling from a ladder while working outside, or suffering injury from not wearing correct personal protective equipment. We sometimes think about what could happen in an office such as lifting heavy objects, unlabeled wet floors or objects falling from shelves. What many of us don’t consider, however, is the chances of being injured during the more social and fun aspects of our jobs, team building days.

Days away from the office can take many forms including:

  • Seminars
  • Assault Courses
  • Outdoor Activates
  • New Skill Courses
  • And Many Others

Team building days are when we are able to relax and get to know others in the workplace, bonding with close team members and even some you may not have regular contact with. These days are meant to be in good spirit and boost morale. However, decisions on safety during these events need just as much care and attention for the prevention of accidents as the workplace itself. Real care must be taken when completing risk assessments and carrying them out.

 

Risk analysis outside the office

Chris Walker, Sincere Law’s partner for catastrophic and serious injuries stressed the added importance of creating an enjoyable but safe environment for team days out of office. He told us:

Boating accidents in particular are unfortunately commonplace; they carry higher risks given location and access to immediate help compared to seminars or physical activities such as assault courses. With any event like this it is vital to look after everyone taking part and that proper precautions are in place”.

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The case involving Dr Feest is not uncommon. We regularly receive calls from individuals who fall victim to poor planning and precaution taking while outside of the workplace. If you feel you or a family member has had a similar experience of suffering a serious injury and would like to know more, or enquire about making a serious injury claim; please call us on 0800 092 2896 or contact us here.