False personal injury claims bring terrible consequences

At The Compensation Experts, we have a great deal of experience handling cases for various personal injury compensation amounts. For example, we help victims of road traffic accidents. As such, motor accidents can cause tremendous amounts of damage, both physically and financially. Yet we also need to combat false personal injury claims.

This is a far too common occurrence that affects legitimate claims every day. (more…)

The Most Common Accidents in Schools

Now that back to school is upon us in England and Wales, parents and children’s minds are sure to be filled with the thought of returning. With children returning, there is also a risk of accidents in schools, but did you know your child may have an accident that you can claim compensation for?

Children are the most prone to accidents overall, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).  However, some common accidents in schools can happen due to negligence on the school’s part. If one of these accidents happens, then you may be able to make a claim on your child’s behalf.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight the need for a sensible approach to health and safety management in schools, that focuses on “real risks with the potential to cause harm”, rather than “trivial matters and unnecessary paperwork.” 

The HSE go on to say that while traditional classrooms are typically lower risk, the risk to children may increase in Design and Technology workshops, science labs, art studios, textiles, drama and PE. They also mention higher risk situations such as vehicle and pedestrian movement, construction/refurbishment work, and adventure activities.  

accidents in schools

Most Common Accidents in Schools

Where children are involved, there are some accidents that are just that, accidents. Children have accidents whilst playing that are unavoidable. However, there are some instances where the school may be at fault for accidents in schools.

Some of the most common accidents in schools include:

  • Playground equipment accidents
  • Slips, trips, and falls on school premises
  • Classroom accidents
  • Accidents on school trips

Playground Equipment Accidents

Schools have a responsibility to make sure that playgrounds are safe for children. Climbing equipment should not be too high, and the ground underneath the climbing equipment must be soft enough to stop a child being badly injured. Maintenance and checks must also happen regularly on any equipment that children use. This is to ensure that children are not injured on broken equipment.

Slips, Trips and Falls on School Premises

If a child slips or trips on the school premises because of a defect on the paving or a hole in the fields, then the school may be liable. Schools must ensure that the premises are free from broken paving, holes, or other defects. This helps to ensure both children and parents are safe.

Classroom Accidents

Accidents that happen in classrooms that can be the school’s fault include failure to supervise children, broken desks or chairs, broken equipment, and damaged floors or carpets. Schools must ensure that their classrooms are free from broken or faulty equipment to ensure children are safe.

Accidents on School Trips

Schools still have a duty of care to protect children on school trips. They must ensure that they supervise children adequately to prevent accidents from happening.

Schools have a duty of care to keep children safe, and if they fail to do so and a child has an accident, then a parent or guardian may be able to make a claim on their behalf.

Claiming on Behalf of a Child for Accidents in Schools

If a child has an accident, then a parent or guardian may be able to make a claim on their behalf. Then, any compensation goes into a trust until the child turns 18. Or trustees manage the trust. This covers the cost of caring for a child with a disability sustained as the result of their injury.

The time frame for making a claim is also different if the accident involves a child. Usually in personal injury cases, a person has three years from the date the accident happened to make a claim. However, when a child has an accident, a parent or guardian can make a claim on their behalf until they turn 18. The child then has until they turn 21 to make a claim for themselves. However, we still recommend making a claim as soon as possible.

How We Can Help with Accidents in Schools

Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes accidents in schools. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.

The Most Commonly Broken Bones

It goes without saying that there are a lot of bones in the human body that could potentially be broken: 206, to be exact.

Some of us are lucky enough to go through life without ever suffering an injury to any of the most commonly broken bones. But for many of us, chances are we’ll experience a break to a commonly broken bone at some point in our lives.

Most Commonly Broken Bones

What is the easiest bone to break?

While any bone in our body can be broken, there are some bones that are easier to break than others. That being said, there is no single easiest bone to break. Instead, there is a group of the most commonly broken bones that you could suffer in the event of a personal injury.

When it comes to the most common broken bone, the following five are the ones that occur most often due to accidents:

That’s not to say that other bones may not be broken in the event of an injury, just that there is an increased likelihood that it could be one of these five.

Why are these the easiest bone to break in the body?

The primary cause for the breaking of bones is extreme or sudden pressure on the affected area, typically involving the twisting of the bone in some way. As the five bones we’ve previously mentioned are all located in areas that experience pressure regularly, it’s unsurprising they’re more likely to break than other bones.

Collarbone/clavicle

The clavicle, more commonly known as the collarbone, is statistically the most common broken bone in the body. It’s also the most common fracture suffered by children.

Any accidents, from a road traffic accident to accidents in the workplace, can result in the break of this most common broken bone, but an injury to the clavicle can happen beginning from birth; with fractures making up several birth injuries.

What makes the clavicle the most common broken bone in the body when it comes to accidents is the fact that most people will put their arms out in front of them when falling. This applies maximum pressure to the clavicle, which can cause it to break.

Arms

Arm fractures are also another common fracture and break type, particularly the humerus and ulna bone. They are the second most commonly broken bone in children and make up almost half of the fractures in adults. A break to the arm occurs in much the same way as a break to the clavicle, as do breaks to the wrist.

Wrists

As for wrists, they are the most commonly broken bone in people under the age of 75, since they’re most often caused by physical activity like sports injuries. If older people do sustain a wrist fracture, it’s usually because they suffer from osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thin and brittle.

Hips

When it comes to leg injuries, broken hips are the most commonly broken bone in people over 65; accounting for 90% of all hip fractures. Hip fractures often require surgery to “pin” the edges of the fracture back together, but a severe fracture sometimes requires a total hip replacement. Landing hard on your hip from a fall is typically the most common reason for hip breaks.

Ankles

Lastly, ankles are also prone to breakage with surprising regularity. However, with an ankle injury, it can sometimes be difficult to know if a break has occurred, as even a sprained ankle can be very painful and prevent the sufferer from walking.

As well as the more obvious breaks, ankles can sustain stress fractures, which are when the bone cracks as a result of repeated pressure on it but doesn’t break entirely.

What are the most painful bones to break?

While the previous breaks we’ve mentioned might sit as the easiest bones to break, not all of them fall under the range of most painful bones to break. Some bones are so important that when we break them our body tells us immediately, but for others, it’s simply difficult not to apply pressure to them whilst they’re healing.

When it comes to the most painful bones to break, the following three are considered particularly painful injuries to suffer in an accident:

The femur is often put at the top of the most painful bones to break. Your femur is the longest and strongest bone in your body, running from your hip to your knee. Given its importance, it’s not surprising that breaking this bone is an incredibly painful experience, especially with the constant weight being put on it.

The tailbone, on the other hand, while difficult to break, can also be particularly painful if damaged; more for the fact that pressure is often applied to it while sitting for recovery.

Rib injuries also fall into much the same category. Even bruises to your ribs can be exceedingly painful, but a break can often be excruciating due to the constant chest pressure from breathing, and potential internal injuries caused by the rib when it breaks.

How to tell if you’ve broken a bone

While a common term for a broken bone is a break, the more commonly used medical term is a fracture. There are three main types of fracture, each constituting a different kind of break:

  • Hairline fractures
  • Simple fractures
  • Compound fractures

Each type of fracture has a different recovery period; hairline fractures tend to heal relatively quickly and easily due to it not being a full break in the bone. Simple fractures also tend to heal quickly but can sometimes require further treatment if the break is more complex.

Compound fractures, or open fractures refer to a complex break where the bone has broken through the skin. Compound fractures are the most serious type of break and can take a long time to heal. If they’re exceedingly complex, they may even require physiotherapy, surgery. or skin grafts to repair the bone’s surrounding tissue.

It’s usually fairly obvious when you’ve broken a bone, but not all breaks are as clear as others. I’ve you’ve simply fractured a bone; you may not even realise it until much later.

The NHS advise that the three most common signs of a broken bone are pain, swelling, and deformity around the area in question. Not all of these signs are required for a bone to be classified as broken, but a least one is often an indication of serious injury.

If you’re unsure if you’ve broken a bone, you should seek out the correct treatment regardless as soon as possible to avoid serious infection or a permanent deformity.

Can I make a compensation claim for a broken bone? 

In many cases, breaking a bone is an unavoidable consequence of everyday life. But if you’ve suffered an arm injury or leg injury due to someone else’s negligence, for example in a road traffic accident or an accident at work, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. Similarly, if you’ve experienced medical negligence in relation to the diagnosis or treatment of a broken bone, you could be eligible for compensation. Get in touch with our expert team today to find out how much you could potentially claim for. 

Is there a time limit on making a broken bone compensation claim? 

Typically, to make a personal injury claim, there is a time limit of three years from the date of the injury. There are some exceptions to this; for example, where the injured person is under 18 at the time of the incident, the three-year period begins from their 18th birthday. We’d always recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible after an injury to ensure you don’t leave it too late to make a claim.  

Common Workplace Hazards and How to Prevent Them

No matter your place of work, there are a variety of workplace hazards that you should be aware of. In this article, we explore the different types of workplace hazard and explain how risks in the workplace should be managed to ensure the safety of employees.  

What is a hazard in the workplace? 

Some workplace hazards may be dangers that crop up in your workplace environment, while others might be injuries you could suffer as a result of poor work posture and habits. Workplace hazards can be categorised into different types. These can include: 

  • Safety hazards 
  • Physical hazards 
  • Ergonomic hazards  
  • Organisational hazards (harassment, bullying, and psychosocial hazards) 
  • Chemical hazards 
  • Biological hazards 

Source: https://safetyculture.com/topics/workplace-hazards/ 

Workplace hazards can cause injury, ranging from minor injuries to serious harm, and in some cases, a workplace accident can be fatal. It’s important to be vigilant and be aware of common workplace hazards, as well as some of the ways of preventing them. However, it is the responsibility of your employer to mitigate workplace hazards where possible, and in many cases, workplace accidents can be avoided if the correct safety measures are put in place.  

Safety hazards  

Even in an office environment, it’s really important to look out for potential hazards in the workplace that might cause injury. But in busy spaces, it’s even more important. 

With warehouse work, for example, forklifts, equipment on the go, blocked entrances, and obstructed pathways all create various workplace safety hazards that can pose a risk to you. 

Common injuries from safety hazards  

Injuries from safety hazards can take many forms depending on the circumstances of the accident. Injuries might include a fractured arm from a trip, slip or fall, a head injury from a falling object, or a crush injury from a piece of machinery.  

Common causes  

Trips, slips, and falls are some of the most widely encompassing workplace hazards, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reporting that in 2022/23, 32% of non-fatal workplace injuries reported under RIDDOR were due to slips, trips or falls. Another common safety hazard in the workplace is being struck by a moving object, and these types of accidents were responsible for 11% of non-fatal injuries for the same period.  

Further statistics from HSE showed that falls from height are the most common cause of fatal accidents at work.  

Health implications  

Slip, trip and fall injuries can have serious health implications. A knee injury for example, can leave you in a lot of pain and can cause mobility problems. Falls from height can cause significant injuries, such as spinal injury or brain injuries, sometimes with life-changing implications. As discussed earlier, falls from height are also responsible for most fatalities at work.  

How to prevent safety hazards at work  

Although slips and trips aren’t the only workplace accident caused by safety hazards, they are a common cause of injury and can often be prevented. The HSE give practical steps in preventing slip and trip accidents:  

  • Stop floors becoming contaminated: Examples include using entrance matting, fixing leaks, and ensuring equipment is well-maintained.  
  • Use the right cleaning methods: Advice includes considering whether the cleaning method is effective for the floor type, removing spillages quickly, and ensuring people don’t enter an area until the floor is dry.  
  • Consider the flooring and work environment: This includes checking for damaged flooring, ensuring sufficient lighting, and keeping walkways clear.  
  • Get the right footwear: Use slip-resistant footwear where floors cannot be kept clean and dry, trial footwear before use, and provide footwear free of charge if it is to be worn as PPE. 
  • Think about people and organisational factors: Consider how the workplace is managed, to avoid rushing, overcrowding, and trailing cables. Also, ensure that staff are involved in decisions, e.g. regarding PPE or a change in cleaning methods.  

    Physical hazards 

    According to Safety Culture, physical hazards refer to environmental factors that can cause physical harm to someone, without necessarily touching the hazard itself.  

    Common causes  

    Safety Culture go on to outline some of the types of physical hazards, which include: 

    • Radiation 
    • Prolonged exposure to sunlight/ultraviolet rays; 
    • Temperature extremes  
    • Constant loud noise 

    Source: https://safetyculture.com/topics/workplace-hazards/ 

    Health implications of physical hazards 

    The health implications of physical hazards can vary depending on the cause, but in some cases, employees can suffer long-term health implications, for example in cases of industrial deafness. Industrial deafness can occur due to prolonged exposure to loud noise. This might be where someone is working with power tools and they haven’t been given adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), or maybe they weren’t informed of the risks associated with this kind of work. 

    There are laws in place to protect employees from physical hazards like these, so it’s important you seek legal advice if you believe your employer has been negligent.  

    Ergonomic hazards  

    Ergonomic hazards refer to strain put on the body and often relate to repetitive movement or positioning due to workplace tasks.  

    Common injuries from ergonomic hazards   

    Ergonomic workplace injuries include: 

    • Musculoskeletal disorders 
    • Repetitive Strain Injury 
    • Vibration white finger 
    • Hand arm vibration syndrome  

    Common causes  

    Musculoskeletal disorders can often be caused by manual handling accidents, where inadequate training has been given on how to lift correctly.  

    Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is usually the result of a poor workstation which isn’t suited to the employee’s needs. RSI can also be caused by regular heavy lifting, or from repetitive movement, for example, if operating machinery on a production line.  

    Vibration white finger and hand arm vibration syndrome are both typically caused by continuous use of vibrating machinery.  

    How to prevent ergonomic hazards at work  

    While the risks associated with ergonomic hazards can’t always be eliminated completely, there are steps an employer can take to mitigate these workplace risks. This includes ensuring that risk assessments are properly carried out.  

    For those working with display screen equipment, the employer must carry out a DSE workstation assessment to help manage the risk of injury. 

    For organisations where staff are exposed to vibration, there are additional regulations which must be followed. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 highlight the steps an organisation must take to reduce the risk of working with vibration, such as eliminating unnecessary vibrating tasks, and other measures.  

    Harassment, bullying, and psychosocial hazards  

    This is perhaps one of the most overlooked workplace hazards, but linking mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing is an important piece of assessing hazardous workplace conditions. 

    Nowadays, we’re far more aware of the effects of harassment, sexual misconduct, and bullying in the workplace. If an action can alter an employee’s mental wellbeing, that action needs to be addressed as a damaging hazard. 

    Common injuries from organisational hazards  

    Harassment and bullying in the workplace can be extremely detrimental to the health of the person involved. Stress at work can lead to mental health conditions and can also cause physical symptoms, such as headaches and nausea.  

    Common causes  

    The advisory service, ACAS outline some examples of bullying in the workplace, which might include constantly criticising someone’s work, deliberately giving an employee a heavier workload than others, or putting someone down in meetings.  

    Harassment and sexual harassment are also forms of psychosocial hazard which can take place at work.  

    Health implications  

    While the health implications of organisational or psychosocial hazards are not always physical, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously. The mental health implications of harassment or bullying can be devastating for those affected and can lead to long-term health conditions and stress related illness.  

    At The Compensation Experts, we work with personal injury solicitors experienced in successfully obtaining compensation for stress at work claims, and we can help you get justice.  

    How to prevent psychological workplace hazards 

    ACAS outline some of the steps organisations can take in preventing work-related stress. Employers should: 

    • have a clear policy on mental health and stress 
    • address the causes of stress through risk assessments and employee surveys 
    • encourage people to raise their concerns – for example, if a person feels they are being discriminated against 
    • provide training for managers – for example, on managing conflict, change and work-related stress 
    • support their employees – for example, listening to concerns and acting on them quickly 
    • promote a work-life balance – for example, encouraging employees to use their breaks and take holiday 
    • provide employees with access to support – for example, an employee assistance programme (EAP) or training on stress management techniques 

    Source: https://www.acas.org.uk/managing-work-related-stress/preventing-work-related-stress 

    Chemical hazards  

    Chemical hazards are defined as any “hazardous substance that can cause harm to your employees.”  

    Chemical hazards at work can be incredibly hard to spot in some scenarios. Too often, the risk of chemical hazards increases simply because they go for a long stretch of time without being used. Thus, an atmosphere of ignorance and underappreciation can set in. 

    Common injuries from chemical hazards  

    Health problems caused by chemical hazards can include skin irritation, burns, dizziness, headaches, eye injuries, occupational asthma, pleural thickening, and mesothelioma.  

    Common causes  

    Chemical burns are commonly found in industries such as farming, manufacturing, construction, cleaning, and beauty and might be the result of inadequate PPE, poor working procedures, or lack of training.  

    Mesothelioma is often caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. 

    Because handling chemicals brings with it a substantial risk, it’s crucial that strict safety protocols accompany the use of harmful substances.  

    Health implications  

    While in some cases, workers can recover from chemical injuries, some injuries caused by chemical exposure can cause serious health conditions. Mesothelioma, for example, is an aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately, mesothelioma often goes undetected for a long time and according to the NHS, there are around 2,500 deaths from the condition each year in the UK.  

    How to prevent chemical hazard accidents 

    The HSE explain that when it comes to using chemicals in the workplace, you should always try to prevent exposure at source by asking the following questions:  

    • Can you avoid using a hazardous substance or use a safer process – preventing exposure, eg using water-based rather than solvent-based products, applying by brush rather than spraying? 
    • Can you substitute it for something safer – eg swap an irritant cleaning product for something milder, or using a vacuum cleaner rather than a brush? 
    • Can you use a safer form, eg can you use a solid rather than liquid to avoid splashes or a waxy solid instead of a dry powder to avoid dust? 

    (Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/basics/whatdo.htm) 

    When exposure can’t be prevented, HSE advise that you should apply the principles of good control practice 

    Employers will need to ensure that they meet their legal obligations in relation to controlling exposure to harmful substances, including the rules set out in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). Some substances, such as asbestos, lead and radioactive substances have their own set of regulations. 

    Biological hazards  

    Biological hazards, as defined by Safety Culture, include exposure to things such as blood, mould, bacteria and viruses, insect bites, and animal droppings. 

    Common causes  

    HSE explain that employees can come into contact with harmful micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, either due to intentional work while employed in a microbiological laboratory for example, or due to incidental exposure from your line of work, for example, while working in healthcare or agriculture. 

    An example of a biohazard in a healthcare setting might be a needlestick injury, which can lead to exposure to blood-borne viruses. If you’ve been injured due to a biohazard at work, our network of solicitors can help you make a claim for compensation.   

    Preventing biohazard accidents 

    As with any workplace hazard, your employer is responsible for protecting you from biohazards while at work. Employers have various responsibilities under law, which include carrying out risk assessments, listening to employee concerns, maintaining equipment, and providing adequate training.  

    HSE outline the specific legal responsibilities that employers have in relation to working with blood-borne viruses.  

    Legal and financial implications of workplace hazards  

    The repercussions for employers who fail to comply with health and safety regulations can be extremely serious. The most obvious risk for those organisations that neglect workplace hazards is that it can lead to illness and injury for their workers and others.  

    There are also legal implications for those who fail to protect their employees, as well as financial and reputational implications to consider.  

    Employers have a legal duty to undertake regular risk assessments to identify and mitigate workplace hazards. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer should assess the risks to health and safety that employees and others are exposed to while they are at work.   

    The HSE outline the minimum legal requirements when managing risks. An employer should: 

    • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)  
    • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)  
    • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk  

    Resources and tools for hazard identification and reporting  

    HSE explain how you can identify hazards to health in the workplace and how to record your findings. They also provide risk assessment templates and examples based on different types of business. Some organisations might choose to use software for their hazard management and reporting.  

    How The Compensation Experts can help if you’ve had a workplace injury  

    If you’ve suffered an accident at work due to a hazard in the workplace, you may be eligible to make a claim. At The Compensation Experts we’re committed to helping those injured at work get the compensation they deserve; we have a network of some of the UK’s leading personal injury lawyers who can provide legal advice on a No Win No Fee basis.  

    Get in touch with the team at The Compensation Experts today to see what your claim might be worth. 

    Workplace accident claims we’ve handled 

    We helped a fuel delivery driver who suffered a soft tissue injury to his back after he lifted an 80-kilogram fuel hose on his own.  

    Compensation figure: £6,200 

    We supported a farm worker who slipped and fell into a divot at work, causing a partial tear in his left knee. It was found that his employer should have packed the ground regularly to keep it more even.  

    Compensation figure: £25,000 

    Our lawyers helped an employee who sustained a broken leg after falling down a staircase at work. It was found that the steps were slippery and had no thread on them.  

    Compensation figure: £10,000 

    About the Compensation Experts and Common Workplace Hazards 

    This post is part of our ongoing series covering the issues to understand a workplace injury or work-induced psychiatric illness. Our goal is to keep you informed on the latest issues and risks involved with workplace injury claims. 

    Stress Awareness Month 2022 – Stress At Work

    Tips on how to live stress at work

    Stress awareness month has been going since 1992, raising awareness for causes and solutions is essential for mental health and overall happiness. The past 2 years have been a real challenge for us all, loneliness and isolation has left a lot of us struggling. However, one of the positives to emerge from this unparalleled situation has been the community spirit and support shown by so many to so many. Now we can finally ease back into our old routines and focus our efforts into improving our mental health and do what we can to ease our stresses. Deteriorating mental health can lead to health problems and work absence, so we’ve come up with some solutions to get you through stress awareness month.

    Stress at work

    What can we do during Stress Awareness Month?

    • Talk about your stress with friends and family and colleagues, how it affects you and what you do to relieve your stresses, recognising it is half of the problem!
    • Share your coping mechanisms, techniques that help you to relax, it could benefit someone’s life massively, whether this be meditation, or a hobby, or a good book you’ve read. Helping someone else is also a serotonin booster and may take your mind off your own stresses in the meantime.
    • Be aware of those around you who look stressed and anxious, we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety again in the future, so why not help those who need it, your empathy and compassion may be returned when you need it too.
    • Take care of yourself – self care is so important for your stress levels; we all have a social battery. Take time out of your busy schedule to chill out or do something that makes you happy and forget about your stresses.
    • Eat, sleep, exercise. The three most important influences on stress levels, if you eat healthily, sleep routinely at least 7 hours per night, and take time to do a small amount of exercise per day, including just walking, you can feel your mental health and stress levels improve dramatically. Make sure to try as many of these steps as you can, and keep an awareness of your stress levels.
    • Tell your employer to research mental health for employees in order to reduce stress at work in the office. You can suggest mental health training. Click here

    There are some health warnings for high stress levels, not looking after yourself can lead to even serious issues, such as:

    • Cardiovascular disease. The heart experiences stress before any other organ. Heart disease is the planets number 1 killer, to reduce your risk, reduce your stress.
    • High blood pressure. The main cause for haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure. Stress levels can be directly linked to HBP.
    • Mental health issues can include depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.
    • Obesity and other eating disorders.
    • Menstrual problems.
    • Sexual issues such as dysfunction, impotence, and overall loss of sexual desire in men and women.
    • Skin and hair problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and permanent hair loss. 
    • Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon.

    If you have any of these issues from work related stress, click here to fill out a form to see if you’re eligible for compensation.

    Other short term work-stress related symptoms include:

    On your moodOn your bodyOn your behaviour
    HeadacheAnxietyOvereating or undereating
    Muscle tension or painRestlessnessAngry outbursts
    Chest painLack of motivation or focusDrug or alcohol misuse
    FatigueFeeling overwhelmedTobacco use
    Change in sex driveIrritability or angerSocial withdrawal
    Stomach upsetSadness or depressionExercising less often
    Insomnia All aboveAll above 

    What can you do to reduce your stress levels and prevent symptoms of stress?

    1. Eat and drink to optimize your health. Reduce stress by drinking less alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment but may add to stress in the long run. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress.
    2. Exercise regularly, in addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever.
    3. Stop using tobacco and nicotine products. People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever, however, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.
    4. Study and practice relaxation techniques. Taking the time to relax every day helps to protect the body from the effects of stress. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. There are many online and smart phone apps that provide guidance on these techniques. Or use apps/sites to help, like this one: click here.
    5. Reduce triggers of stress. If you are like most people, your life may be filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. You can free up time by practicing time-management skills like asking for help when it’s appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and reserving time to take care of yourself – Not just during Stress Awareness Month.
    6. Assert yourself. It’s okay to say “No” to demands on your time and energy that will place too much stress on you. You don’t have always have to meet the expectations of others.
    7. Set realistic goals and expectations. It’s okay—and healthy—to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything all at once. Be mind ful of the things you can control and can’t control.

    Causes of stress at work-related illness

    • Bullying and harassment. This is defined by the government as behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. This can include unfair treatment, being picked on, undermined, or blocked for progression, whether face-to-face, by letter, email or phone. Similarly, abuse, threats or excessive demands will lead to a stressful environment.
    • Lack of support. If an employee is not given adequate support, assistance, or guidance, they may well lack confidence, feel overwhelmed and under too much pressure.
    • Workload. There is only so much work that any one person can undertake. If an employer is placing unrealistic demands on an employee, forcing them to work long hours, for example, stress-related illness is a likely outcome.
    • Denial of employee rights. The rights of workers in the United Kingdom are enshrined in law, such as the right to rest periods, breaks and annual leave. If an employer denies these rights to their workers, they can be stressed and have low morale. Employee rights: Click here.

    Can you claim compensation for stress at work?

    The short answer to this question is yes, you can claim personal injury compensation for stress at work. More precisely, for the health problems it causes, however, you can only do so if the stress-related illness is severe enough to warrant making a claim and a medical diagnosis has been made.  Get expert advice now to see if you can take legal action and claim compensation.

    How can we help?

    At The Compensation Experts we speak with people on a regular basis who suffer from high levels of stress especially related to their occupation. Although it isn’t straight forward to bring a claim for work related stress there is still the possibility of receiving compensation successfully. If you would like to find out more or speak with one of our team, fill in one of our contact forms here or call us directly on 0161 413 8765.

    Children’s Road Accidents

    In road traffic accidents, people can often think of two drivers colliding. However, there are many children’s road accidents that happen that people may not think about initially. Children are particularly vulnerable to road accidents as they cannot be held accountable for many of them.  

    Sometimes accidents that involve children happen that are unavoidable. But if your child has been injured in an accident that was the fault of a driver, then you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. 

    children's road accidents

    The most common children’s road accidents 

    The three most common children’s road accidents are pedestrian accidents, passenger accidents and cycling accidents

    The most common types of pedestrian accident include: 

    • Drivers driving carelessly 
    • Speeding  
    • Hit and run cases 
    • Drivers going through red lights 

    This is even more important for children as they may accidentally run or walk out into the road. Pedestrians are amongst some of the most vulnerable road users, so have the same level of protection as cyclists and motorcyclists. 

    Children’s bicycle accidents can happen for all sorts of reasons. However, in our experience, the most common accidents include: 

    • Hit and run accidents 
    • Faulty bicycle parts 
    • Defects in the road and pavements, for example, potholes 
    • Slippery road or pavement conditions due to ice, snow, or oil spills 

    If your child has had a bicycle accident due to one of these reasons, then it may be someone else’s fault and you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. 

    Passengers have far more compensation rights than other parties in RTA claims due to the fact that, in most cases, there is no way that a passenger can be deemed liable for the accident at hand. Drivers of any vehicle have a duty of care to ensure that you and other passengers don’t come to harm during travel, meaning that you’re eligible to make a claim should any car accident cause injury. 

    Making a claim on behalf of a child 

    If a child is injured in a road accident, they cannot make a claim for themselves. So, if this happens, a parent or guardian may be able to make the claim on their behalf. In these cases, any compensation is then held in a trust until the child turns 18. 

    The time limit for making a claim for children’s road accidents also differs from adults. Usually, in a personal injury claim, you have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, with children’s road accidents, this three-year period doesn’t start until the child turns 18. So if your child has an accident, you have until they turn 18 to make a claim. They can then make a claim for themselves until they turn 21. 

    How we can help with children’s road accidents 

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes children’s road accidents. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts. 

    The top 5 best and worst UK industries for compassionate leave

    Suffering a life-threatening personal injury or losing a loved one is a hard thing to experience, but, sadly, it’s something many of us will experience at some point in our lives.

    Fortunately, all UK industries are required to give anyone in this scenario adequate compassionate leave, a period of paid leave for you to come to terms with what’s happened and spend time with family.

    In the UK, the standard length of compassionate leave is three paid days annually, though this can differ depending on your circumstances and industry, with some sectors undoubtedly better for offering leave than others.

    To help inform you which UK industries offer the best and worst compassionate leave, we surveyed 1,500 UK employees across a variety of occupations and ranked each sector from best to worst.

    With this in mind, here are the top five best and worst UK industries for compassionate leave.

    The best UK industries for compassionate leave

    While many might assume that fast-paced and intense roles could be less accommodating with their compassionate leave policy, our results show that this is clearly not the case.

    Without a doubt, the best UK industry for compassionate leave is healthcare, providing, on average, five paid days of compassionate leave.

    Given their profession, this makes sense, as they no doubt fully understand the emotional and physical trauma you might be experiencing.

    In fact, 77% of those we spoke with within the healthcare industry feel that they’re supported by their employer, with 78.4% feeling that their workplace is compassionate.

    That being said, only 49.5% actually feel comfortable telling their employer that they need time off, perhaps evidencing the responsibility they feel towards their role.

    Property is also an excellent UK industry for compassionate leave, again offering five days. But while 71.4% feel their workplace is compassionate, as little as 28.6% feel comfortable telling employers they need time off.

    The remaining three brilliant UK industries for compassionate leave also offer five days total, with those we spoke to in the Information and communication, education, and data industries all holding similar opinions to those in the healthcare and property industries.

    The worst UK industries for compassionate leave

    An important thing to note when looking at compassionate leave is that, while three days is considered the standard, it is not the legal minimum. Given this caveat, it’s unsurprising that some industries fall short of this number.

    Without a doubt, the worst UK industry for compassionate leave is agriculture, offering just two days, with a mere 54% of those we spoke to actually feeling supported by their employer.

    To put this into perspective, this is the lowest rate of employer support felt by employees in any industry. In fact, just 45% of those in the agricultural industry feel comfortable telling employers they need time off, but 79% do at least feel that their workplace is compassionate overall.

    Surprisingly, the next worst UK industry for compassionate leave is tourism, again offering just two days. Interestingly, however, 90% of the people we surveyed feel supported by their employer, with 89% feeling their workplace is compassionate and 70% feeling comfortable telling their employer that they need time off.

    Other bad UK industries for compassionate leave include the creative arts, retail, and finance. While all of these industries offer three days as standard, large portions of those we spoke to feel uncomfortable asking for time off from their employers, with those in the creative arts finding it particularly difficult – only 38.1% feeling comfortable asking for time off.

    How do UK industries view compassionate leave overall?

    Even though there’s a clear variation in the length of compassionate leave offered by different UK industries, feedback from our survey shows that compassion is generally at the forefront of everyone’s minds regardless of where you work.

    A full 79% of those we asked feel supported by their employer, with a further 78.7% saying that their employer is usually flexible in ensuring that they have suitable time off when needed. Additionally, a further 78.5% say that their colleagues have always been understanding and supportive.

    Interestingly, however, just 27.3% of those surveyed are unaware of what their workplace compassionate leave policy is, and 46.6% still wouldn’t feel comfortable telling their employer that they need time off even if they did.

    In general, though, it seems we’re pretty accommodating in the UK, with 80% of Brits feeling their workplace is compassionate, 70% feeling open to talking about personal matters with their manager, and 80% saying that their workplace policies provide all the guidance they need to support someone with a serious illness or who is grieving at work.

    Some accidents in life are unavoidable. But if you’ve been the victim of an accident at work due to someone else’s negligence, then you could be entitled to compensation.

    Data could help predict crash victims most at risk of brain injury following road traffic accidents 

    Research from Imperial College has recently identified how speed, direction, and level of head protection can predict risk of brain injury following road traffic accidents. Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Nearly one in three are caused by RTAs. 

    A partnership between Imperial College London and TRL has investigated the relationship between TBI and collision. They used parameters such as speed, direction and force of vehicle impact. By studying more than 2000 collisions they have calculated the likelihood of different types of brain injury on British roads. They have also shown for the first time how collision parameters like changes in speed during collisions relate to different types of brain injuries.  

    Lead author Claire Baker, PhD researcher at Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering, said: “We looked in detail at which road traffic collisions produce brain injury. We now know which types of collisions lead to the most severe head injuries. This data can inform the emergency response and post-collision care pathways.  

    “Data needed to make these predictions are routinely collected in many modern cars. This means that algorithms using this data could quickly assess and relay the likely type and severity of TBI for each crash as it occurs. This will enable emergency operators to deploy the specific type of treatment needed, faster.”  

    brain injury following road traffic accidents

    How this data will help with brain injury following road traffic accidents 

    The findings provide the data to automatically identify collisions that are most likely to cause TBI. This could provide the basis for existing crash notification systems to better predict and communicate the risk of severe injury to emergency services. This could help first responders ensure that patients quickly receive the most appropriate kind of treatment.  

    Senior author Professor David Sharp, from Imperial’s Department of Brain Sciences, said: “Road traffic collisions often produce life-threatening brain injuries. Treating patients quickly gives us the best chance of reducing death and disability. Automatically identifying collisions that are likely to lead to severe TBI will improve the efficiency of our treatment.”  

    They found that change in speed at impact were good predictors of brain injury, as were the impact direction and the presence of head protection worn by cyclists.  

    More must be done to protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. This could include vulnerable road user-friendly vehicle designs and segregated infrastructure for vulnerable road users. 

    Pedestrians and cyclists were six times more likely than drivers to suffer moderate and severe brain injury in the UK. The researchers say their work confirms that the best way to reduce the likelihood of TBI is to reduce the speed of collisions. 

    If you have suffered brain injury following a road traffic accident, then you may be able to make a claim. Where the victim cannot make a claim themselves, their next of kin can make a claim on their behalf. 

    How We Can Help 

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes brain injury following road traffic accidents. So contact us by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts. 

    Road traffic collisions: almost 700 drivers caught speeding on new camera in its first week 

    According to recent reports, a road safety group said that nearly 700 drivers in Cornwall were caught speeding by a camera in its first week of operation. Speeding is one of the main causes of road traffic collisions. 

    The Vision Zero South West road safety partnership fund the speed camera. 

    Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of Devon and Cornwall Police said speed was a contributory factor in many collisions. Devon and Cornwall police are part of the partnership.

    He said: “Cameras such as these not only enable us to prosecute those driving at dangerously high speeds, but, importantly, allow us to refer the vast majority into driver education training. 

    Vision Zero South West – made up of a number of organisations, including Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council and National Highways – said the aim was to stop all fatal and serious collisions by 2040. 

    It said there were 44 fatalities, and 624 people with serious injuries after crashes on Devon and Cornwall’s roads in 2020. 

    The camera caught 681 drivers in it’s first week, after going live on 8 February. Of these, five were referred to court, 72 received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and points on their licence, and 604 were given the option of a driver awareness course, the partnership said. 

    Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “Speed limits are in place for a good reason. Sadly, too many people sustain injuries on Cornwall’s roads. 

    “These cameras are a valuable tool in educating drivers to slow down.” 

    road traffic collisions

    Road Traffic Collisions 

    When you are in a road traffic collision, you can suffer with some long-term problems. This may mean that you are eligible to make a claim. Speeding and other types of careless driving are amongst the most common causes of road traffic collisions in the UK. 

    Being in a car crash or road traffic collision can lead to difficulty and even life changing injuries. To ease the burden, we can help you claim the compensation you deserve, as you recover. Common examples of serious road accident claims include compensation for: 

    Since the whiplash reforms, which were introduced on 31st May 2021, and designed to value whiplash injuries as a fixed tariff purely dependent on how long the injuries last and whether there was any psychological impact, claiming for these injuries has now changed. However, we may still be able to help you make a claim. 

    How We Can Help 

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes road traffic collisions. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. You can also call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts. 

    MoJ release simplified guide to help people use OIC portal 

    The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has published a simplified guide to using the Official Injury Claim OIC portal after the low take-up of the portal by litigants in person (LiPs). The MoJ published data after the first six months of the portal launch which showed that only 10% of people were using the portal, and the rest were still seeking legal assistance. 

    The previous guide, which was 64 pages long, was widely criticised for not being user-friendly and over-complicated. The new MoJ guide is 14 pages long and in clearer English than the previous guide. It sets out five steps to bring a claim. However, the new guide asks users to refer to the Judicial College Guidelines to value their injuries, which may add further confusion. 

    The new guide says: “For additional help in valuing a claim, relevant helpful extracts from the ‘Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases’ have been included in the appendix of the OIC ‘Guide to making a claim’. 

    “This is a book used by lawyers and judges to help assess the value of a claim which has suggested compensation levels for a range of injuries. 

    “The amounts included in this publication are only guidelines and the full circumstances of the accident should be considered when assessing the value of your injuries.” 

    OIC portal

    Road Traffic Accidents and Alternatives to the OIC Portal  

    When you have a road traffic accident and are suffering, you may not want the added stress of having to navigate the OIC portal. This was particularly true in the first few months of the OIC portal, with most people still opting to alternatives. This is why road traffic accidents and alternatives to the OIC portal exist.  

    If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, then you may be able to claim compensation. This is especially true if someone else was at fault for your accident. Since the launch of the OIC portal, both drivers and passengers are encouraged to use the portal when they have an RTA, however, many are still seeking alternatives. This is why we may still be able to help.  

    You could claim road traffic accident compensation for an injury, if you were not at fault. The most common reasons for road traffic accident claims are: 

    • Another driver’s error or lack of concentration 
    • Poor conditions due to inadequate lighting or large potholes 
    • Unclear signs 
    • Other distractions such as smoke from a bonfire in a neighbouring field blowing across the road 

    If you are a protected party, then the rules surrounding road traffic accidents and the OIC portal do not apply, and you can still make a claim the traditional way. Protected parties are: 

    How We Can Help 

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes road traffic accidents and alternatives to the OIC portal. Contact us by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts. 

    Accidents in bars: thirteen people injured after floor collapsed

    Thirteen people have suffered injuries after a mezzanine floor collapsed at an east London pub. Accidents in bars can be relatively common. However, if an accident such as this happens, then you may be able to make a compensation claim. 

    According to recent reports, firefighters rescued seven people who were trapped after the collapse. Four of these then went to hospital.  

    London Fire Brigade station commander Sacha Clement said crews found seven people who were trapped upstairs on the remaining part of the mezzanine floor. 

    “Crews used a ladder to bridge between the floor and the internal staircase to get them safely out of the building,” the station commander said. 

    LFB said crews from three fire engines from Homerton, Bethnal Green and Leyton fire stations and two rescue units from East Ham and Edmonton stations attended the scene. 

    A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said it is working with the emergency services and a structural engineer to assess the privately-owned building. A statement from the bar said the venue would remain closed “for now”. They added: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected.” It said “thankfully” no-one had sustained critical injuries.  

    accidents in bars

    Accidents in Bars 

    There are many different accidents in bars, pubs and nightclubs that could cause accidents for both patrons and employees – more so when you take into account alcohol consumption. Common causes include: 

    • Drink spillages and broken glass on the floor 
    • Poor lighting 
    • Cluttered stairways 
    • Defective flooring 
    • Unsafe furniture 

    The landlord who owns the pub, bar or nightclub has a duty of care to ensure they maintain all interior and exterior areas, such as car parks and beer gardens. This means they are obliged to keep patrons and workers safe from harm. However, landlords can sometimes fail to spot or repair something that could potentially cause an accident. This is when you could potentially have the right to claim for compensation. 

    All bar owners must make sure they follow the rules set out in the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. They must do this to minimise the risk of accidents happening. If you have an accident in a bar, pub, or nightclub, and it is due to the fault of the owner or landlord, then you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.  

    How We Can Help 

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes accidents in bars. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts. 

    Northern Gas Networks Ltd fined after fatal gas explosion

    Northern Gas Networks Ltd were recently sentenced for safety breaches after a fatal fire and gas explosion accident at a residential premises in Mirfield. 

    Leeds Crown Court heard that, on 11 February 2019, West Yorkshire Fire service attended a fire and explosion in Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, West Yorks. They discovered the occupier during a search of the property whilst it was still on fire. She unfortunately died the following morning in Pinderfields General Hospital. 
     
    An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the source of the gas escape was a fractured six inch cast iron main running under the carriageway to the front of the property. The investigation found that the main did not appear on Northern Gas Networks drawings. Therefore, they had not maintained it in accordance with the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996. 
     
    Northern Gas Networks Ltd of Thorpe Business Park, Colton, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company paid a fine of £5 million and costs of £91,487. 
     
    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Casey said: “This incident, that put the lives of the elderly residents of a care home at risk and cost a homeowner her life, has highlighted a failure by Northern Gas Networks Limited to follow their own safety procedures, in this case requiring the prompt and effective investigation and correction of anomalies in their records. Other gas network operators should take the opportunity to learn from this tragic incident.” 

    fatal gas explosion

    Fatal Accidents 

    Losing someone you love in a fatal accident can be devastating emotionally. It can also affect you economically if you were financially dependent on the deceased. During this difficult time, compensation may be available to help families deal with their changing circumstances. 

    Pursuing compensation in fatal accident claims can be complex and time-consuming during what undoubtedly is a very distressing time for the family.  We understand this and use our experience and dedication to process your claim as quickly and compassionately as possible. 

    Fatal accident claims differ from other types of personal injury compensation claims because there are two routes to compensation. Put simply, you can make a claim for fatal accident compensation if you are either: 

    • Executor for the “estate” of the deceased for the losses suffered by the deceased during his lifetime 
    • One of the dependants of the deceased under the Fatal Accident Act 1976. 

    Often these groups of people are the same. They are usually the spouse, children and/or parents of the deceased.  

    How we can help with fatal gas explosion accidents

    Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes fatal gas explosions. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly experts.