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. 

    3 Common Accidents To Claim Compensation For

    With common types of injury claims, the actual accidents themselves come in many shapes and sizes. But they’re all relevant if the cause of the accident is another individual and the accidents bring injury or illness to you.*

    There are many common accidents to claim compensation for. You’re eligible for compensation on any accident within the last three years which:

    • wasn’t your fault, or;
    • as a direct result of another’s negligence.

    That remains the case if you’re injured in an accident by a business or an individual.

    Here are some of the most common accidents which can occur and what you need to do in order to claim for maximum compensation. For all the below occurrences, it’s important to speak to a trained advisor at The Compensation Experts to best guide you through the claim process.

    Slips, Trips and Falls

    This can occur anywhere, at any time, whether within the workplace, in a public street, or even abroad. Wherever it occurs, you’ve got the right to make a claim if the slip, trip or fall wasn’t your fault. An individual or business needs to maintain the upkeep of a particular environment. Therefore, even a simple trip can have devastating repercussions for the wounded party if it causes severe injuries.

    Some things need to be in order to claim compensation for this type of accident. For one thing, you need to prove that your fall was a direct result of neglect on another’s part. For example, here are some incidents worthy of negligence claims:

    • A slippery, wet floor in a working kitchen.
    • Any obstacles left in public spaces which you have tripped over.
    • Even some carpeting that has come loose in a public place and become a hazard.

    Once you have the necessary proof, claim proceedings can begin and you will be eligible to receive compensation.

    Road Traffic Accident

    With such a heavy flow of traffic, these accidents are inevitable, and often through no fault of your own. If you’re in a road traffic accident, you’re eligible for a claim.**

    In certain circumstances, you may also be able to claim even if you were partly at fault. This may be so, for example, if a situation occurs where you made a mistake, but another driver made a bigger one and is the majority perpetrator.

    If a road traffic accident leaves you with permanent damage, we can help. Such accidents, in short, can deliver a permanent loss of income if you are unable to work. Therefore, a compensation claim can incorporate any losses you will have in the foreseeable future.

    Factory Accidents

    A working factory environment is often a risk, especially when Health & Safety officials don’t offer a duty of care to their workers. Yet even with the implementation of the proper health and safety procedures, injuries including broken bones, concussions, bruises and other damage can still occur.

    With factory accidents, injury claims often occur due to the chance of human error and the failure of machinery. Whether you’re a factory worker or just a visitor to the site, you will be eligible for compensation.

    Some factory accident scenarios

    Here are just a few different scenarios to consider to determine if you can make a claim.

    • If you have not been given the proper training during your work in a factory.
    • The workplace has poor lighting or visuals, making obstacles harder to see in conducting your work.
    • If you’re part of a working atmosphere that proves to be inexplicably strenuous. For example:
      • Unnatural lifting expectations.
      • Susceptible conditions for fatigue.
      • Poor access to clean drinking water and/or hydration.
    • The proper equipment to use during the course of your work, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    These are just some of the situation you may encounter that can make it easier to make a claim.

    For any advice on common accidents for compensation claims, contact the team at The Compensation Experts today.

    When an accident visits injury on you, it’s often tough to regain your life as you knew it. But these common accidents to claim compensation against all deserve the attention of our personal injury solicitors. In short, we can improve your experience.

    Plus, you’ve no automatic obligation to legal fees in order to tap into our legal advice. Because your personal injury claim is always handled by law firms with years of experience as No Win, No Fee.

    What’s more, check with any of your current insurance company providers. They – or the insurance provider we connect you with – may cover any legal fees you might eventually incur. But regardless, with The Compensation Experts, you only incur those fees when you win.

    *Through no fault of your own.

    **Through no fault of your own, as a driver, pedestrian, cyclist or public transport passenger.

    What Are My Fall at Work Claim Rights?

    With any fall at work claim, clients ask “What are my rights after I have a fall at work?”

    Any accident which occurs during the course of your everyday life can be traumatic. However, one which occurs at your place of work can have a profound effect on your attitude to your job. It can leave you feeling vulnerable and unprotected in your working life. In reality, you should instead feel comfortable and confident.

    Not having apprehensions about returning to work.

    Some fall at work negligence examples

    If your employer is guilty of any of the following, we recommend that you seek professional advice regarding your rights to a claim. Specifically regarding the failure of an employer to:

    • Maintain the necessary health and safety standards in the workplace.
    • Provide adequate training.
    • Supply the correct equipment in order to conduct your job safely and without injury.

    With a fall at work, your rights remain the same as any other accident or incident within the workplace. That is if the fall is a direct result of your employer’s negligence.

    Does Your Employer Use an Accident Book?

    Even if you’re in a relatively small workplace, the employer needs to have an accident book on site. According to Citizens Advice, it’s imperative:

    If the company or organisation you report your accident to has more than 10 employees, they must record it in an accident book. It’s a good idea to make sure it’s been done. You can ask your manager to check.

    But even if you aren’t seeking maximum compensation for an injury at this moment, talk with management about this. Those environments we’d never deem to hazardous might still lead to a slip, trip or fall. If so, it’s best to be ready to follow proper procedures for an accident.

    Trust in a fall at work claim solicitor

    Seeking the guidance and advice of a professional solicitor, such as the accident-at-work specialists at The Compensation Experts, is crucial. We find it’s integral that every client understands their rights regarding a workplace fall. Taking legal advice as soon as you’re able means your solicitor can:

    • best advise you on what evidence and information to collect in order to build a case;
    • put your claim in a better position to succeed.

    What Does a Fall at Work Claim Involve?

    During a claim, you will need to be able to prove lawfully that the fall at work:

    • was not your fault, and;
    • that it was a direct result of your employer’s failure in meeting regulatory standards.

    This is why it is crucial to take action as soon as you can after your fall, due to the lengthy process of legal proceedings.

    If your employer denies culpability, then you have the right to begin litigation proceedings. This means the claim process is longer, but it might be necessary. Investigating as soon as possible is paramount in order to gain a court date for a claim within the time limit of three years.

    Sectors that susceptible to slips and falls

    Those who fell at work and make an accident claim can come from any line of work. Nevertheless, some industries are more fertile ground for a personal injury claim that others.

    A 2017 UNISON paper offers some insights into some of the more dangerous sectors for someone who slipped and fell. If you work in these sectors, a personal injury solicitor may come in handy regarding a claim for compensation.

    Catering

    From UNISON:

    Catering is a high-risk area for STFs. Leaks and spills, poorly placed items, floors in poor condition, or ineffective or inadequate cleaning lead to STFs being the major cause of workplace incidents in catering. With sharp tools in use, hard surfaces, and plenty of hot liquids and surfaces; the consequence of an STF can be far greater than usual.

    Office Environments and Education

    Indeed, the office workplace is also a veritable tripping zone. For accident at work claims in education and offices, compact spaces with dense populations can get hazardous. Regarding such environments, suffering an injury (including head injuries) make anything possible. UNISON says this:

    A slip or trip within an office environment can lead to a far more serious injury or death if, for example, you fall against a corner of a desk or down some steps or stairs. Within the education sector, structured timetables see large volumes of staff and pupils or students move around at the same time. (Thus) increasing the potential for slip and trip incidents.

    Healthcare

    These days, healthcare industries are particularly vulnerable for many reasons. Bear in mind that was the case even before COVID-19 became part of the everyday lexicon. But with urgent workers moving about briskly, yet at the same time co-existing with infirm & vulnerable patients moving at their own pace, slips, trips and falls are rampant.

    Long term injuries could add insult to (another) injury, too. Says UNISON:

    STFs are the main cause of accidents to workers and patients in the healthcare sector. (They) account for around 50% of serious injuries to employees.

    We talk at length about what kinds of incidents constitute slips, trips or falls here. Now, from that same blog post,

    Slips

    For a workplace environment, a ‘slip’ constitutes whenever your feet lose grip on the surface you’re standing or walking on. This may be due to:

    • wet floors;
    • a recent polishing of the floor or;
    • because a rug isn’t secure to the ground.

    Trips

    Trips come down to either uneven surfaces or ineffective lighting, causing an unintended spill on your part.

    For example, your workplace has clutter all over the floor. For whatever reason, you stumble over and (making matters worse) injure yourself, too. In this hypothetical scenario, you’ve suffered a trip in the workplace that your employer would be liable for.

    Falls

    Finally, we come to the falls scenario. Here, we list a hypothetical fall example.

    You’re using a small stepladder to help a colleague hang something on the office wall. However, the stepladder is wobbly and dangerous to use. As a result, either you or your colleague sustains an injury as a result. While this may seem inconsequential, it is worth remembering that even a fall from a few inches can cause nasty injuries.

    What Can I Claim For With Slip and Fall Incidents?

    You have the right to claim for loss of earnings because of time off work to recover from a slip, trip or fall. In a more serious case, this could involve a concussion, or possibly wounds that need additional time to heal. Perhaps you’ve lost a significant amount of income which statutory sick pay won’t adequately cover. Accordingly, you have every right to claim that money back.

    You also have the right to claim money back for any expenses you accrue during your recovery time. This includes prescription costs, the transport costs when travelling to medical appointments or the hospital, and any general medical expenses needed after the fall. With this in mind, it’s important that you keep any and all receipts to prove these expenses and discuss them with your solicitor.

    To further discuss your rights, speak to The Compensation Experts’ professional advice team. Reach out and see how we can help you start a claim.

    Record Breaking Wheelchair Compensation Win

    A Brisbane man who became wheelchair-bound after a car accident left him with severe brain injuries has been awarded a record $20.5 million in compensation.

    Chrys Barker, aged 28, and his cousin, Bobby Hobbs, aged 20, were hit by a drunk driver in Caboolture near Brisbane in January 2014. Mr Hobbs was killed instantly in the collision while Mr Barker was flown by helicopter to a hospital. He suffered such serious brain damage that he can no longer speak and is in a wheelchair for life. While he can understand conversations, he can only communicate through eye movements.

    The drunk driver was a former Navy man, Craig Edward Jones. At the time of the incident, the investigators estimated that Jones’ blood-alcohol reading was between 0.256 – 0.32%. He lost control of his vehicle and spun out into 3 cars. The people in the third vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

    At the time of the incident, Jones was under a probationary driver’s license which required him to have an ‘alcohol ignition interlock’ fitted which would prevent the car from starting unless he had a zero blood alcohol reading. This device was not fitted at the time of the incident. Jones had 3 previous drink driving convictions. He was disqualified from driving for life and was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2015.

    A third-party personal injury insurer accepted full liability. The insurer originally suggested that Mr Barker should live in a care home for the rest of his life, which would cost $3 million. However, a neurosurgeon recommended that he would have a better chance at rehabilitation if he was cared for at home. Mr Barker’s family wished to bring him home, and the insurance company agreed to pay for the adaptations needed to move Mr Barker to the family home in Donnybrook.

    The $20.5 million compensation figure, however, has taken 4 years to be settled upon as Chrys’ health needed to stabilise before the figure could be agreed upon. Queensland Supreme Court sanctioned the compensation earlier this year.

    An independent trustee company will invest and manage the compensation to ensure Chrys has the care he needs for the rest of his life. The money received from the pay-out will be used to pay for Mr Barker’s rehabilitation, increased insurance, care costs, and home modification costs.

    Mr Barker’s mother, Betty Barker, said: ‘To know that the funds are there now for Chrys to be looked after for the rest of his life… it’s just a relief.’

    ‘Every doorway had to be widened for a wheelchair. Chrys is a big strong boy, he’s in a good-sized wheelchair, and most average doorways are too small for Chrys.’

    The insurance company’s head of communications, Paul Turner, said: ‘It has really set the boundaries for future settlements of this size, and a lot of that is based on Chrys’ age and the severity of his injuries. This was a really complex case medically, and we had to ensure that Chrys was covered for life and we got the best cover possible.’

    If you have would like to discuss a similar accident or have been affected by this story, then it is in your best interest to get in contact with us at The Compensation Experts where we can discuss your legal issue and help you to make a claim.

    Faulty Cutting Gear that Cost a Hand and £1.5 Million in Compensation

    A Glasgow firefighter has been awarded £1.5m in damages after an injury caused by faulty cutting equipment led to the amputation of his hand.

    In 2014 Ian McDonald was taking part in a training exercise at Bishopbriggs fire station in East Dunbartonshire. The exercise involved simulating a rescue from a car accident. Mr McDonald was using hydraulic cutting equipment which malfunctioned and let out a jet of toxic hydraulic fluid at high pressure. The jet was so strong that it pierced his leather safety gloves and the liquid destroyed tissue in his hand.

    Describing the incident, Mr McDonald said: “I had no idea what was going on – my hand felt like it was on fire and was swollen with a painful throbbing feeling… when blood tests revealed I was poisoned, we realised something happened with the cutting gear.”

    Mr McDonald went through 4 years and 40 operations in a fight to save his hand. While medical specialists at Glasgow Royal Infirmary amputated the little finger with his ring finger being removed a year later.

    “My dexterity remained pretty good, but the pain was agonising, and nothing would stop it. When I heard the full hand had to go, the idea of being pain-free made it easier to accept.”

    Having tried numerous painkillers, botox and acupuncture, in June 2018 he was admitted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to have his right hand amputated at the wrist. The procedure took 18 days and six surgeries. Mr MacDonald now uses a prosthesis.

    Solicitors conducted an investigation which found that there had been an inadequate system of maintenance and safety inspections.

    An investigation into the incident by the solicitors revealed that, although the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service knew about the potential risks involved, there was an inadequate system of inspection and maintenance for equipment. In addition, protective coverings which would have prevented the injury were not in use.

    Solicitor, David Nellaney, said: “The SFRS is undoubtedly a safety-conscious organisation that provides an invaluable service, but on this occasion, it failed in its duty of care to an employee.”

    While Mr McDonald was offered legal representation, he chose his own lawyers to access a specialist prosthetic, instead of a “hook” which was being offered by the NHS.

    Mr McDonald added: ” I’ve still a way to go, but after the support of my family, the doctors and colleagues I finally feel like the dark days are behind me.”

    Mr McDonald has four children and is recovering at home with his wife Claire currently.

    The deputy chief officer of SFRS, David McGown, said commented that it was, “extremely heartening to see that he continues to make a strong recovery”.

    He also added: “Following a robust investigation into Mr McDonald’s injury, we undertook a review of equipment and related safety checks and have taken appropriate steps to minimise the risk of similar incidents happening in the future.”

    If you have would like to discuss a similar accident or have been affected by this story, then it is in your best interest to get in contact with us at The Compensation Experts where we can discuss your legal issue and help you to make a claim.

    Woman Controversially Awarded Compensation After Bike Crash

    A woman who was hit by a cyclist after stepping out into the road has been awarded compensation. While the decision may not appear controversial at first, the circumstances of the case have divided opinions.

    The ruling has been called controversial as Gemma Brushett was distracted by her phone when she stepped into the road, and the traffic lights were green for the cyclist, Robert Hazeldean. Both parties were knocked unconscious by the collision in July 2015, but the cyclist will have to pay Ms Brushett damages. Although the incident took place over 4 years ago, the case has only just been settled in the courts.

    Mr Hazeldean was approaching a junction at the northern end of London Bridge when Ms Brushett stepped into the road. He sounded an air horn to warn her of his approach, but this caused her to panic and try to get back to a traffic island. Unfortunately, Mr Hazeldean had swerved in the same direction to try and avoid hitting her, which is when they collided.

    In her summary of the case, Judge Mauger detailed why she had found that Ms Brushett should receive a payout from Mr Hazeldean: ‘When I stand back and ask “how did the accident happen?” it seems to me that Mr Hazeldean owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill […] Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.’

    If a pedestrian is established on the road, even if a vehicle or cyclist has the right of way, the pedestrian has right of way by default. So, in this case, even though the lights were on green for the cyclist, Mr Hazeldean, Ms Brushett had right of way.

    The judge also added: ‘Ms. Brushett must clearly have equal responsibility if she is crossing the road without looking – and if she is looking at her phone, even more so. But cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways. The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible, and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.’

    Another cyclist who witnessed the incident said that Hazeldean was in the wrong and had behaved in an ‘arrogant and reckless’ manner, while 3 other witnesses said that Ms Brushett had been using her phone and was distracted when she went into the road. The judge, however, found that the parties were equally to blame. Judge Shanti Mauger believed that although Hazeldean was a ‘calm and reasonable road user’, cyclists should be ‘prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways’.

    The judge’s ruling means that Ms Brushett will receive compensation, but the exact figure she will receive is unknown and will be fixed at a later date. It is likely that, as the judge has ruled that the parties had equal responsibility in the accident, she will only be awarded half of the value of her original claim.

    If you have would like to discuss a similar accident or have been affected by this story, then it is in your best interest to get in contact with us at The Compensation Experts where we can discuss your legal issue and help you to make a claim.

    Injury In The Office and Knowing Your Rights

    With an office injury, the rights of the individual are definitely worth knowing and understanding. It’s a more common occurrence, too: nearly 30 million work days in the UK were lost due to injury in 2018-19.

    Certainly offices are generally safer than areas in which you have to commit to manual labour tasks. But these days, offices still have common workplace injuries that you should be aware of. This guide will help those suffering injury in the office to know their rights. In addition, it will explain how you can prevent some of the most common workplace injuries.

    What are the Most Common Office Injuries?

    Repetitive strain injuries include muscle, tendon sprains and vision hindrances. These often happen through the intensive use of certain body parts. For instance, you may get wrist pain if you are typing for extensive periods. Alternatively, you might also suffer eye strain from using the computer for lengthy amounts of time. To prevent these, you should adjust your workstation to your own needs. For instance, by adjusting the angle of your keyboard or turning down the brightness on your computer, if possible.

    Sprains and fractures often happen in the workplace by falling, tripping, or slipping. Moreover, many of these sprains and fractures are reasonably avoidable. Especially with better health and safety precautions. To prevent these, you should ensure that your workplace has:

    • thorough health and safety regulations and;
    • full awareness of your surroundings at all times.

    Not only this, but you should ensure that communal areas are left tidy. Moreover, signs are clearly left if a floor or surface is slippery or dangerous.

    What Are Your Office Injury Rights?

    As a worker, you have the right to make an injury at work claim against your employer if they are at fault for causing your injury. You also have the right to get medical attention immediately for any injury that you contract in the workplace.

    Additionally, you have the right to get compensation for your injury and have time off work in order to recover. However, you also have the right to return to your workplace without harassment when you recover from the injury. In terms of your legal rights, you also need legal representation to appeal any court decisions made in injury cases.

    What Should You Do in the Event of Injury?

    If you have sustained a workplace injury at the fault of your employer, you should seek a solicitor who can discuss your claims at work and help you to gather the appropriate evidence in order to gain compensation. You should also request your medical records so that you have proof of your symptoms and their causation.

    In short, this will make your case stronger in court even if your injury heals quickly. Solicitors will be able to guide you through your work accident claim UK according to your individual situation and help you to begin a  court case if necessary, and if your employer fails to accept the liability or the terms of your compensation claim.

    Although making an injury at work claim is fairly common, by following this guide, you will ensure that you know your rights and that the process can cause as least stress for you as possible.

    4 Common Workplace Injuries To Be Aware Of

    With the exception of sleeping in bed, working in a workplace is where we spend most of our time. Accordingly, workplaces should be safe spaces where we can work without the stress (or fear) of worrying about injury. However, workplaces are dangerous: as such, there are many common workplace injuries resulting from unsuitable working environments. If this is the case, you should consider making an injury at work claim.

    Some of the most common of these include these four common workplace injuries we list below.

    Four Common Workplace Injuries

    1. Back Injuries

    Back injuries are part of a broader problem, with musculoskeletal disorders resulting from extensive manual work. For instance, heavy lifting and a lack of proper physical training can leave you with pain in your back. Not to mention in your upper limbs, such as your arms and neck.

    It can be potentially debilitating and can also leave you unable to work in the future. As a result, you should consider making a work accident claim for these injuries.

    You can prevent musculoskeletal disorders by ensuring that you:

    • Have adequate training in terms of lifting and carrying;
    • Only carry what you physically find comfortable, and;
    • That, if office work is the cause, that you adjust your seating arrangement. Thus ensuring that you maintain better posture throughout the day.

    2. Asthma

    If you are around toxic substances for long periods, this can cause asthma. Asthma is long term breathing condition which can be harmful and lead to dangerous consequences.

    Ultimately, it’s a result of the swelling of your airways that make it difficult to breathe; moreover, poor working conditions can accelerate this.

    You should follow regulations at all times to ensure that you remain safe in your workplace at all times.

    3. Whiplash

    Sudden movements that jolt the body and cause injury to define a whiplash accident. Moreover, it’s usually common in car crashes and other incidents involving moving vehicles.

    Therefore, no win no fee whiplash claims are common in workplaces which include moving vehicles and often cause injury to the head, neck and shoulder area of your body. Although whiplash injury claims cannot be prevented, you should ensure that you are fully trained to drive the vehicles in question and that you never drive when you are tired or exhausted.

    To treat whiplash, you may have to :

    • Wear a neck collar;
    • Avoid staying in the same position;
    • Take painkillers, and;
    • Ice down the area often to prevent swelling.

    If you’re wondering how much compensation for whiplash you may get, whiplash cases tend to generate between £1,000-£2,000.

    4. Hearing Loss

    In short, hearing loss is one of the UK’s most significant causes for a workplace injury. Studies show up to 20,000 people suffer industrial hearing loss and subsequently seek hearing loss compensation. Hearing loss claims can be caused by being around loud equipment while at work for long periods. Hearing damage can also include tinnitus, where there is an unusual ringing sound in one or both ears.

    To prevent hearing loss, invest in hearing protection such as earmuffs. Or ask to use quieter equipment that damages your ears less. Accordingly, if you believe that you have hearing loss at work, you should make an industrial hearing loss claim. The hearing loss claim time limit, incidentally, is three (3) years, which is common for the majority of personal injury claims.

    HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Just a Few More Common Workplace Injuries

    To say nothing of the four common injuries above, we don’t want you to leave her short on knowledge. Below are some other injuries in the workplace and accidents a business owner or council will shudder at.

    a. Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls

    In general, slip and fall include a variety of different possible incidents. From falling objects to wet floors, it’s actually a fairly common claim we pursue regarding workplace safety and workers compensation.

    b. Repetitive Strain Injury

    Repetitive motion activity (for instance, using a mouse or keyboard) leave individuals prone to repetitive strain injury (RSI). In short, strained muscles from the demands of such work create difficulties worthy of a claim.

    c. Crash and/or Crush Injury

    Our last honourable mention requires a bit of personal protective equipment, airbags, and other safety equipment to avoid. Crash injuries or collisions tend to involve accidents and injuries from a road traffic accident (RTA). For more on the subject, check out this post.

    If you have a workplace injury and would like to make claims at work to seek compensation, get legal support. Start by contacting a solicitor or advice service that can guide you on how best to navigate the legal processes.

    Can You Make A Claim For Hearing Loss?

    Hearing loss is often seen as an affliction of the elderly; the natural decline of the human body as it ages and becomes less efficient and more aged. This is, however, often not the case. Many occupations and events in life can directly influence the power of your hearing. In these cases, and especially in the case of industrial hearing loss claims,  you’ll be able to fight for compensation with a claim through our specialist team.

    The Time Limit

    Bearing in mind that hearing loss is also a natural repercussion of ageing, you should talk to our specialists as soon as possible if you think that you have a claim to make. That’s because the hearing loss claim time limit can prevent you from a successful bid for compensation if it’s left too long or late in life. The best time to claim is while you’re still in the occupation that’s exposed you to the conditions that damage your hearing, or when you’ve just left your position.

    The Conditions

    Many companies expose their workers to conditions that can cause hearing loss. These jobs might include:

    • Exposure to heavy, noisy machinery in industry
    • Exposure to loud music in clubs, bars or at other events
    • Exposure to noise in the aviation industry or other transportation industries
    • Exposure to loud noise on construction sites

    Hearing loss compensation is most likely to be assigned to those people who are repeatedly exposed to such conditions in their workplace or in their occupational career. To establish the liability of your employer for the hearing loss you’ve experienced, it’s important to reflect on the conditions of your workplace, and whether your employers were taking care of their workforce’s hearing.

    Your Rights

    As an employee, you’re due protection from harm. It is your employer’s responsibility to protect you from harm of any kind, and this includes a loss of hearing as a result of the conditions you’re forced to work under. This code is enshrined in law, and so you have the right to make hearing loss claims against your employers if you feel they have violated their right to protect you from harm. Our legal team is particularly well-versed in the compensation procedure when it comes to hearing loss, so you’ll be able to present your violated right to them for them to assemble a case.

    Building Your Case

    Once you’ve approached our legal team for a free consultation, we’ll be able to assemble your case. With the know-how gleaned from many years of claim management and successful compensation grants, our team will pursue those liable for your loss of hearing for just compensation. We’ll even be confident enough in this area to give you a predicted compensation figure, and our prediction as to whether your case will fail, reach a compromise, or succeed. Your part in the process is minimal; you’ll merely be required to give evidence and information about your hearing loss.

    If you’ve experienced a loss to your hearing as a result of the conditions you’ve experienced in the workplace, then you may be due compensation. Approach our specialists for a consultation for us to establish your claim and win you the compensation you deserve.

    Whiplash: What Are My Rights?

    Whiplash is an apparently minor injury sustained in the event of a car accident or collision that throws your spine, neck and head quickly forward and backwards. It’s a painful and inconvenient injury to suffer, and in many cases, it’s the fault of another party who’s collided with your vehicle from behind. If this is the case, it’s best that you’re made aware of your rights so that you can plan for compensation for what is a troubling and disruptive injury. This article looks at those rights, and how you can work towards a claim that’ll grant you compensation for your injury.

    Was Another Party Involved?

    The first question you have to ask in the event of sustaining a whiplash injury is: is someone else to blame? That could be the person you collided with, or who collided with you. It could be the person who walked in front of your car, forcing you to perform an emergency stop. Or it could be the driver with their lights on full beam who dazzled you while you were driving.

    Think through if there’s anyone who might be liable in the event of your whiplash injury. If you are yourself at fault, and you accept 100% responsibility, then you won’t have the right to make a claim. But in many cases, it’s difficult to assign 100% responsibility to one party in a multi-party injury scenario, so for those others involved, you may well be able to assign liability. So, ask yourself: how much can I claim for whiplash injury?

    Personal Whiplash Injury Rights

    So, as you’ve established that there are other people or another person partially or fully liable for the injury you suffered in your vehicle, it’s time to talk through your rights. If you find you have whiplash (this often needs to be verified by a doctor), you have the right to claim compensation. Compensation not only for the damage to your vehicle, but for the pain of the whiplash, the hospital and pharmaceutical fees, and the effect the injury has had on your lifestyle.

    The best way to go about seeking compensation is to approach an experienced specialist who’s worked on many hundreds of whiplash cases just like yours. Where you’ll only know your basic rights, they’ll know the ins and outs of the law, and what you’ll be able to whiplash injury claim for, and the percentage culpability you’ll be able to assign to those other parties involved in your accident. Don’t neglect your rights when you suffer whiplash: approach a compensation specialist to help you build a case.

    The Outcomes

    Now that you have an injury law expert helping you to fight your case, there’s little you’ll have to do other than discuss the various outcomes of your claim. The expert will already be aware of the compensation you’re likely to win, and in some cases, the insurance companies you’re claiming against will grant a whiplash injury claim without fighting them first. In any case, you’ll be in open discussions with our legal team about the compensation we expect you are due – so you can relax and await the compensation that your rights affirm you are due. Remember: it’s a no win no fee whiplash claim. If you don’t win any money, you’ll not owe any, either.

    A Step By Step Guide To Personal Injury

    Personal injuries are sometimes difficult to handle. They require you to take time off work, spend time and money at the hospital, and to occasionally undergo painful and traumatic surgeries or rehabilitation. It’s because they’re such unpleasant experiences that those who suffer injuries are often capable of claiming personal injury compensation if they follow a specific set of steps that this guide expands upon. For those reading this article who’ve sustained a personal injury, it should only take following the step by step guide below for you to assess your ability to make a claim, and to approach the specialists who’ll guide you through the claiming process.

    Think About Your Case

    Personal injuries vary wildly. Some constitute situations in which you are due compensation; others are unlikely to be granted any. It’s up to the individual to understand their rights when it comes to claiming compensation. What’s more, they need to see their injury as a case in which evidence will have to be produced and used for your claim. Start building the proof right away in the event of a personal injury.

    Assign Liability

    Naturally, if you’re looking for compensation, you’re going to have to assign liability to a third party. In many cases of personal injury, this is fairly obvious: if you slip on a wet floor in a shopping mall, it’s the operators of the mall who are liable. If a product you purchase malfunctions and injures you, it’s the producer of the product you’ll be approaching for compensation. Establish who is responsible (if there is a liability) before you consider contacting compensation experts for assistance.

    Approach Specialists

    Compensation experts in the field of personal injury are at hand to help you in the above process. They ask you to describe your injury and how it came about and to produce evidence of the costs that it’s accrued for you since you suffered it. Once you’ve provided all the information and evidence that the specialist requires of you, your part in the process will be mostly complete; it’s over to our experts to fight your case in your personal injury accident claim.

    The Case

    Specialists will then work on your case, compiling the evidence provided to form a personal injury compensation claim. Their experience in many similar cases will mean they’re aware of the rulings on cases such as yours, which means they’ll be able to give you a predicted quote early on in your dealings. They’ll send this case through to the organisation you’re claiming against and will await their response.

    Your Offer

    When your case is in the hands of those you’re claiming against, they’ll weigh up whether they’re fit to fight a case or whether they’ll grant the full compensation you’re asking for. In some cases, they suggest a split-liability compromise, which you’ll be able to discuss with your representative in our team. In these circumstances, you may just wish to take what’s offered – or you may want to fight for 100% liability upon the person you’re claiming against.

    These steps will help you go from the event of your personal injury to the achievement of your due compensation, with as little disruption to your life as possible.

    What To Do After An Injury At Work

    With such a wide variety of workplaces in which employees spend the majority of their waking lives, it’s little wonder that occasionally hazard perception measures aren’t enough to prevent an injury. If you find yourself one of the unlucky people to suffer an injury at your place of work, no matter how severe, there are four steps that you should follow to ensure you’re being treated respectfully by your employer, and that you achieve any compensation that you’re due. The below guide applies to anyone who’s suffered any kind of injury in the workplace.

    Assess the Damage

    Injuries vary from person to person and from relatively straightforward injuries to those that have a significant effect on your life and your ability to work. The first thing you should do after suffering a workplace injury is to visit your doctor. Ask them to assess the severity of your injury, and to write a short report based on their findings. Those injuries that have caused you pain or trauma, even if you’re able to continue working, are nonetheless befitting of compensation. More severe injuries that prevent you from working need also to be signed off by a doctor.

    Talk to Your Employer

    Your employer is no doubt aware of the injury you sustained in the workplace. You should make them aware of your injury as soon as it takes place, and ensure that you have witnesses to the event so that you can prove that the injury was sustained while you were working. Discuss paid leave with your employer in the case that you need time off – and if you don’t, it’s still best that they know you’re pursuing a work accident claim in the UK.

    Make a Note of Costs

    Injuries are costly – that’s precisely why they’re life events that are due compensation if encountered at work. You may have to pay hospital or doctor’s bills, transport costs, and other expenses that are attributable to the injury you’ve sustained. Keep a note of these costs and proof of their existence where possible so that when you come to make your claim, you’re fully compensated for all the additional costs that the injury at work has created.

    Talk to the Experts

    Now it’s time to look into the compensation that you are due. Your injury, the trauma endured, and the effect it has on your lifestyle, and of course the doctor’s fees, will all be taken into account before you’re presented with a quote. You’ll be able to ask for a quote on your compensation figure and the likelihood that you’ll be granted this compensation, from our experienced experts.

    From there, you leave the compensation in their hands: they’ll work on your case, build an argument, and will approach your employer with a request for compensation that they may either refute or accept. In this way, there’s no stress on you throughout the procedure, and you’ll be granted your compensation as soon as the process of your injury at work claim is concluded.

    Injuries at work can be costly and damaging to one’s lifestyle; that’s why you should claim compensation through the four steps outlined above.