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Accidents at Work in the UK and the Ways to Prevent Them

Predominance of Accident Risks in the UK Commercial Sectors

Accident risks looms large in the UK workplaces, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries where most of the job involve manual handling of heavy and risky objects. In a construction site, the people working at heights accident at work claimrun the risk of falling if scaffolding is not done in the desired manner. Falling from heights can lead to fractures. In worst cases, the injured person can get crippled or become subject to permanent disabilities. In the same way, the workers employed in a factory dealing with hazardous chemicals can receive burns and others serious injuries due to accidental spillage of the hazardous chemicals at anytime. The welders without protection can finish up burning their hands or suffering from eye damaging injuries causing permanent or partial blindness. These types of injuries are banal in the UK workplaces. The accident at work statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive shows a consistent rise in the number of work accidents.

The UK government is highly alarmed by the rising number of accidents occurring in the nation’s industrial sectors. A large number of disabling injuries and deaths take place in the UK workplaces every year. The number of work accidents, if not checked, is mostly likely to swell up in the coming years. If you have been injured while at work and your employer is denying his contribution in causing the mishap, you can go ahead to file an work accident compensation claim in the court. However, filing such a claim is not easy since you have to follow a specific legal procedure to file the case. Thus, it is better to get the assistance of personal injury solicitors who have the expertise and experience in dealing with such cases.

Helping the Solicitor in Establishing a Work Accident 

The injured worker needs to follow a path specified by the UK legal system to improve his chances of winning an accident at work compensation. He should offer his best to cooperate with his personal injury solicitor to reveal all the chronological events that occurred to end up in the mishap and establish the case in the court of law. This is possible if you possess all the documents supporting the event and a data sheet containing the date and place of the mishap and the opinions of the witnesses.  Collection of proper documentation will help your solicitor to outwit the opposing solicitor.

Checklist of the Things to Be Done After an Occupational Accident

As the victim of an accident at work, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Reporting The Accident Is a Must: As an accident victim, you should report the incident to the officer designated to look after the health and safety of your workplace. As you report the incident, you need to make sure that the incident is recorded in the accident recorded in the accident record book of your company and the employer sees it. Remember, as you report the incident, you should only convey the facts of the mishap and should not talk about who is at fault.
  • Seek  Medical Attention: If your wounds need immediate attention, you should visit a health care center nearest your workplace. You can also go to a clinic that your employer maintains. The doctor will listen to your story, check the injury and diagnose your problem. Ensure that the physician provides a detailed account of your injury in the prescription. Try to preserve the medical reports and x-ray reports because they might prove to be very important in evidencing the case. Even if your injury is minor and does not need immediate medical attention, you should go to the doctor for a diagnosis because apparently minor accident at work claimwounds can prove to be serious if not treated on time.
  • Witnesses:  if there are witnesses to the incident, it is important to collect the name and details of those witnesses. If you want to file an accident at work claim, your solicitor might contact them to collect evidence.
  • Take Snaps of the Injuries and the Accident Site:  It is important to take the snap of the location where the accident at work occurred and it should be taken immediately after the accident. Consider taking the snaps from various angles and advantage points. If the accident involves any tools or devices, ensure that you take the photographs of the tools. If your wounds are visible from outside, take their photographs. Cuts and wounds are most likely to fade with time, so you need to keep a record of them. The photographs will bear the testimony to the wounds.
  • Make a Written Record: You should make a written note of how and where and at what situation the incident took place. Your write-up must contain the background information that is relevant. You might mention your job responsibilities and might include the work you were performing at the time of the accident. If you were handling some specialized equipment, you should mentioned if were properly trained to handle the said equipment. 
  • Safekeeping of the Information and Records Pertaining to the Mishap:  Preserve the written records of the accident, the photographs and the written opinions of the witnesses in a safe location. This will help you to get everything readily in place for providing the solicitor. It will save her time and will help her to proceed with her investigation fast.
  • Do not Settle the Case without Consulting A Solicitor: In certain instances, the insurance company of the employer might force you to settle the case in exchange of a small amount of money. However, you should not agree to settle the case without talking to your solicitor. The personal injury solicitors dealing with work accident claims have an in-depth knowledge about the laws related to such accidents and they can help their clients to take the right path to deal with his case.

What Should the Workers Do to Prevent Workplace Mishaps?

While the employers possess the legal obligations to ensure health and safety at workplaces, the employees should also be careful about ensuring their own well-being while at work. The employees have the right to demand personal protective and safety equipment. As a worker, if you are concerned about your safety, you can stop work at anytime and withdraw yourself from the worksite without being disciplined. You have the right to inform your employer about your health and safety concerns at work. You are entitled to approach the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if your employer is not prepared to pay heed to your accident. You can apply for rest breaks during a working week and have annual paid leaves.

When operating a machine, try to avoid wearing loose outfits and jewelry. If you have long hair, ensure that it is properly tied to prevent the hair from getting caught in the machine. If your job responsibilities involve operating a specialized device, you can ask your employer to start training programs required for acquiring the expertise to handle the machine. Try to know about the health and safety policies of your companies. Try to take care of the things that have been offered by your employer to ensure your health and safety at workplace. It is advisable to use the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the proper manner.  In certain jobs, improper use or failure to use PPE in the appropriate manner can lead the employers take disciplinary actions and, in worst cases, even dismissal.

Employers Are Obligated To Ensure Health and Safety at Work

It is the first and foremost responsibility of the employers to look after the safety of the workers. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 covers all the occupation-related health and safety issues in the United Kingdom. According to this act, the employers need to make a risk assessment to track all the health and safety hazards at the workplace.  They need to recruit an able supervisor who will look after the health and safety issues.

The risk assessment would check if the machineries that are being used in the company are safe for use. It would confirm that the hazardous materials that are used by the workers for manufacturing purposes are handled and preserved in safe locations. The business owners need to arrange for first-aid facilities to ensure the preliminary treatment of the injured workers. They should ensure that the temperature, toilet, lighting and ventilation facilities in their companies meet the health and safety standards specified by the UK law.

If an employer fails to fulfill the health and safety standards at workplace and an accident takes place, the injured employee can avail the services of personal injury solicitors and file an accident at work claim. The solicitors with ample experience in work accident cases meliorate the chances of winning compensation. The services of no win no fee solicitors can be availed since these professionals do not charge any upfront payment. Most of the solicitors in the United Kingdom deliver their services on no win no fee contracts.

Related posts:

  1. Accidents at Work: Ways to Dwindle the Work Accident Risks in the UK
  2. Accident at Work: Focusing on Construction Accidents and the Legal Procedures Involved in Filing Compensation Claims

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