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.

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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.

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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.

Can you make an Accident at Work Claim?

Accident in the workplace can happen, no matter how many precautions your boss may take to avoid them and with accidents, often injury follows and in many instances this can leave you unable to work for a short period of time.

There are many different types of injury suffered in the workplace one a daily basis from burns to lacerations, broken bones from a fall to amputations. In the most severe cases, sometimes even fatalities can occur.

For each type of accident there is always a reason behind it and it is your employer’s duty of care to adhere to the advised measures to avoid the likelihood of an accident occurring. If they don’t take these measures then they have breached their duty of care and if you suffer an injury as a result, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

For what injury could I make an Accident at Work Claim?

Obviously any injury suffered in the workplace could potentially lead to an accident at work claim, depending on the circumstances that caused them. The most common situations where a claim can be made include:

  • Slips and Trips – caused by wet floors which aren’t adequately signed or obstacles that are left unattended and out of sight of the victim. These are highly common in accident at work claims
  • Burns – usually brought about by not being supplied with the correct protective equipment
  • Back and Spinal Injury – often brought about by a lack of sufficient training or through heavy lifting. Can also be caused by faulty equipment and crushing
  • Loss of Sight – Again tends to be caused by lack of sufficient safety wear, in this case glasses.
  • Amputations – Tends to happen as a result of faulty machinery or lack of sufficient training on heavy duty equipment. Crush injuries caused by fork lift crashes can also cause this type of injury.
  • Fatal Injury – in very severe cases death can occur as a result of health and safety regulation not being met, either through faulty machinery or lack of sufficient training.

How to make an Accident at Work Claim?

It is important that in any instance of injury caused by an accident at work, you or the victim reports it immediately to your boss to ensure that it is recorded. Next you need to make sure, before making a claim, that you can prove that your injury was caused by negligence. At the end of the day accidents do happen because of the victim’s own negligence so just because you have been hurt in work, it does not mean you are necessarily entitled to submit a claim.

Proving liability for negligence can be tricky and in some cases daunting to do, which is why taking on legal advice from a solicitor who has experience of dealing with accident at work claims is important.

It is also important that you instruct that you submit your claim within three years of the accident happening as there is a three year limitation period for accident at work claims.

The limitation period begins from the day your accident occurred or from when you first notice the symptoms of your injury and in the case of a fatality the three years begins from the date of their death. This is to allow grieving time for the family.

Why is a Solicitor so important?

As mentioned previously, accident at work claims can be tricky in terms of proving liability, which can make claims of this nature complex.

A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims will increase the likelihood of you claim succeeding, as they have extensive knowledge about what is needed in order to ensure liability is admitted.

It also allows the victim of an accident at work more time to focus on their recovery and will even help to ensure that you get the best medical care to aid you rehabilitation.

At Sincere Law we take care of all your care and rehabilitation needs and if you require amendments to your home we will also ensure that this is arranged. While we look after this we will use all of our experience to build the strongest case possible for your claim. Our accident at work solicitors are expertly trained to deal with each element of this sort of claim, therefore increasing the likelihood of a satisfactory settlement.

If you have suffered as a result of an accident at work and wish to find out more information about making a claim. Fill out the form below or call us on 0800 092 2896.

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