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. 

    PPE and your employer’s duty of care

    Regardless of where you work, your employer has a legal duty of care to ensure that you are safe while carrying out your duties. As part of this, they are required to do everything reasonably possible to remove or minimise any dangers or risks you may face while working for them.

    In particularly high risk industries, such as the construction sector or factories that use heavy machinery, this includes providing you with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where needed, which has to be provided at no cost to you. There are many different types of PPE and the type of PPE necessary at a place of work will vary. To determine what PPE you will need in order to carry out your duties safely, a risk assessment has to be done as it is a legal requirement.  The most commonly encountered items of PPE are:

    • Safety helmet
    • Eye protection
    • High-visibility clothing (hi-vis)
    • Ear defenders
    • Protective gloves
    • Steel toe-capped/non-slip boots
    • Harnesses for working at heights.

    The list is not exhaustive, but many workplaces will require their workers to wear at least one of these items during the course of their duties. Although some items can be expensive, your employer must provide you with these items should a risk assessment require them. It is also important that employers regularly reassess their workplaces and the risks involved in the duties they are asking their employees to carry out. In addition, employers are also required to;

    • Ensure that all PPE is stored correctly and not damaged
    • All PPE is adjustable or able to fit the user
    • The correct PPE items are used for the correct task
    • Ensure that adequate training is provided to employees on how to use PPE.

    The cultural shift towards more risk-averse workplaces that are fully mindful of all relevant health and safety legislation, such as the Factories Act 1960, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all subsequent updates,  has seen a significant drop in workplace-related injuries over the last thirty years. Even where employers have done everything required of them though, there still remains an element of risk in most, if not all, workplaces.

    How we can help

    Your employer’s duty of care is a legal one. If you have been injured in your workplace and feel that your employer has failed to carry out to provide you with the correct protective equipment or hasn’t shown you how to use it properly, you might be eligible to make a compensation claim as a result.

    At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist law firms who have a track record making successful workplace injury compensation claims. After your initial consultation with one of our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

    Do not hesitate to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

    Possible link between football and dementia show impact of industrial diseases

    The possible link between football and dementia has been in the headlines again in recent days, with the news that the Scottish FA is considering putting a ban in place on under-12s heading the ball in football training.

    Of course, this has been an issue for some time now. For example, Dawn Astle, the daughter of former West Brom striker and England international Jeff Astle, has campaigned tirelessly since his death in 2002 following a battle with dementia.

    How football could be causing industrial diseases

    The University of Glasgow also announced the findings of a study last year which showed that professional footballers are five times more likely to develop forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, than the rest of society.

    Jeff Astle Gates
    The Jeff Astle Gates at West Brom’s home ground, The Hawthorns.

    Furthermore, the study by the University’s Brain Injury Group found that footballers are also four times more likely to develop motor neurone disease and twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease.

    Following the University of Glasgow’s findings, the University of East Anglia (UEA) will now be starting its own research project into the brain health of former footballers.

    What particularly piqued our interest when considering these studies and the work that Dawn Astle has done since her father’s death is that, when ruling on the cause of Mr Astle’s death, the coroner recorded the death as being caused by ‘industrial disease’, says the following in his official ruling;

    “Jeff Astle was a top footballer who was known for heading the ball … The trauma caused to the front of his brain is likely to have had a considerable effect on the cause of death.”

    How clubs and The FA could be liable

    A professional footballer is by definition someone who works for the football club they play for. As part of this employment, the worker is required to perfect their use of a piece of equipment – the football. This includes their ability to control and direct the piece of equipment with their head. As the University of Glasgow study, along with the coroner’s verdict into the cause of Mr Astle’s death, demonstrates though, there is a strong argument growing that this requirement is playing a significant role in these workers developing brain injuries compared to the rest of the general population.

    Therefore, an argument could be made that, by requiring players to perfect the use of a piece of equipment that has arguably been shown to significantly increased the chances of their staff developing brain injuries later in life, football clubs and The Football Association (The FA) have failed to protect the health, safety and well-being of its workers per its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and other legislation related to the working environment.

    It may be the case then that these studies and their findings lead to former players and their families making claims against their former clubs, along with bodies like The FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Premier League and The English Football League, for causing them to sustain a head injury due to the nature of the work. This argument is made stronger by the fact that, prior to the corner’s ruling into Mr Astle’s death, the PFA and the FA began joint research in 2001 which, over a 10-year period, would study the impact heading a football on the brain. Therefore, it could be said that both The FA and The PFA knew that heading a football could have an adverse effect on the brains of players. However, they did not take any precautionary measures while the possible link was being investigated.

    If the findings of the UEA study support the findings of the University of Glasgow’s Brain Injury Group then, this could potentially put The FA and the PFA in a tricky spot for not taking action sooner when their commissioning of joint research in 2001 shows that they knew there could be an issue.

    This also applies to all employers

    The same is true of any employer – if an employer knows that there is a potential risk of a piece of equipment its employees are required to use causing any kind of industrial disease, but nothing is done to protect the employees from the potential of harm, that employer is liable if any of its employees then develops an industrial disease later in life.

    Industrial diseases that affect the brain are particularly life-changing and can have a dramatic effect on both the sufferer. For example, prior to his health declining, Jeff Astle had made regular appearances on the BBC show Fantasy Football League due to his status as a cult footballing hero for West Brom; the club supported by the show’s co-presenter, Frank Skinner. However, this was not possible once Mr Astle became ill, as he was unable to look after himself and needed to be cared for, and so, could not continue with his post-footballing career running an industrial cleaning business and making media appearances, meaning that he also suffered loss of earnings as well as a loss in his quality of life.

    Why this is relevant to you

    The same is sadly true for many others who have sustained a head injury or who have a disease which affects the brain, such as dementia or motor neurone disease.

    In turn, the injury or disease can also adversely affect those close to them suffering too. For example, family members often cannot afford the cost of around-the-clock care and so, instead have to take on the role of carer themselves. This can then lead to family members also suffering a loss of earnings too.

    Therefore, when claims are brought against employers due to head injuries and industrial diseases affecting the brain that were a result of negligent working practices, the level of compensation awarded can be significant as it needs to take into account the physical, psychological and financial cost the injury or disease has caused in the form of General and Special Damages. This will include the cost to the sufferer’s family too.

    How we can help

    At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful head injury and industrial disease compensation claims. We and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. After your initial consultation with our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

    If you decided to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence and may contact any witnesses to help build the strongest possible case to support your claim. This evidence will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of your physical, emotional and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

    With the right legal support, the vast majority of industrial compensation claims are resolved without the need to go to court, saving you both money and time. If your employer refuses to accept liability or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation, the solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court. This action needs to be taken within three years of the date of the injury being suffered or when your symptoms were linked to your job. Negotiations will continue even when a court date has been set, and it is not uncommon for an agreement to be reached hours before a claim is due to be heard in court.

    If you or a family member have suffered a head injury at work or believe that a disease affecting the brain has developed due to the working environment you or your family member was in, you may be entitled to compensation.

    Do not hesitate then to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

    Suffered a workplace injury? Here’s how to make a compensation claim to your employer

    If you’re suffered a workplace injury, the prospect of claiming compensation from your employer for any medical expenses you’ve incurred along with such things as the loss of earnings you incurred while away from work recuperating or being treated can be very daunting.

    The physical, emotional and financial costs of suffering a workplace injury can be significant and life-changing though. You cannot be expected to bear that cost, particularly when your employer has a duty to protect you when you are working for them per the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974. This includes protecting you from physical harm as well as protecting your mental health. Your employer is also liable if you are assaulted, harassed or bullied while working for them too, although these cases can be very difficult to prove.

    In the first instance, you should speak to your employer informally and see if it is possible to resolve the matter amicably by them covering any costs you have incurred. On this, as Citizens Advice rightly points out, depending upon the details of your Contract of Employment, you may be entitled to full contractual sick pay to cover any loss of earnings while you are away from work due to injury too.

    However, if you have suffered any kind of workplace injury and your employer is unwilling to cover the costs, you should consider making a claim.

    Before making a claim…

    You should do the following;

    • Make a note of exactly what happened. For example, the time, date and place that the injury occurred. If the claim is as a result of you suffering an industrial injury that became apparent over time, such as Repetitive Strain Injury or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we realise it can be difficult to remember the exact dates you started to use machinery or other equipment that caused the injury. In this situation, do your best to remember the approximate dates – month and year, for example. Furthermore, make a note of anyone who witnessed you suffering the injury and ensure you have contact details for them. On this, it is a good idea to have a personal telephone number or email address for them rather than their work contact details.
    • Collect as much evidence as you can. For example, photographs of the hazard that caused the injury and how the scene looked at the time, as well as photographs of any physical injuries you sustained. This is particularly pertinent if you have slipped on a wet floor and no warning signage had not been put out, for example.
    • Visit your GP as soon as you can after sustaining the injury – not only can they treat your injury or refer you to a specialist if needed if the care needed is non-urgent, but they can also record the details of your injury and the severity of it in your medical records. Of course, if you need urgent care after suffering a workplace injury, you should visit A&E, where the details and severity of your injury would also be recorded.

    It is also important to check your Contract of Employment before making a claim too, as it should contain a section on workplace disputes and the company’s policy for resolving them. We highlight this, as your employer may argue that any claims you look to make as a result of a workplace injury would constitute a ‘dispute’. For example, it may be that your employer’s policy is that any disputes have to be resolved through mandatory arbitration. You should seek legal advice before making any workplace injury claim, but, if arbitration is mandated, it is particularly important that you seek legal advice before entering arbitration, as the result of an arbitration hearing is legally binding and it is unlikely that you would be able to appeal the decision.

    How we can help

    At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in successful workplace injury compensation claims. Initially, one of our advisors with have a chat with you, asking you for the details of how you came to be injured. Once this is done, they will advise you whether you may have grounds for a successful claim. As a part of this, we might also obtain medical and industry expert reports to help determine the strength of your case. This is all done on a free no-obligation basis. If it is felt you may have a successful claim, we will then match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

    What your solicitor will do

    If you do then decide to proceed with a case against your employer, the solicitor working on your case will contact any witnesses and will collect as much evidence from you and other sources as possible. This is to help them build the strongest possible case to support your claim. Any witnesses should not be concerned about having to speak out publicly though, as it may be that the other evidence is enough to prove the case.

    This evidence and any witness statements will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show how you have been affected physically, emotionally and financially as a result of being injured in the workplace. In turn, this will mean the amount you receive is fair and reflects the severity of the injury you sustained. It should also be said that the majority of workplace injury claims are usually settled without the need to go to court too.

    How your employer will respond

    Once they has looked through the details of your case and carried out their investigation, your employer’s insurance company will either make a compensation offer or will deny that they are liable. You should be aware that offers at this stage are usually lower than they should be. The solicitor’s role is to advise you how good the offer is and if you choose not to accept it, negotiate with the other side to arrive at an acceptable level of compensation.

    If the employer refuses to accept liability or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation, your solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court. This action needs to be taken within three years of the date of the injury being suffered or when your symptoms were linked to your job. Negotiations will continue even when a court date has been set, and it is not uncommon for an agreement to be reached hours before a claim is due to be heard in court.

    How workplace injury compensation is decided

    Levels of compensation decided by the courts are not plucked out of thin air either. They are calculated by looking at General and Special Damages;

    • General Damages consider the physical and psychological wounds you have suffered, as well as what the likelihood of recovery is. Additionally, General Damages would also include the wages you have lost while recovering from the injury.
    • Special Damages, meanwhile, consider any financial expense caused by your injury, including the cost of prescriptions, private medical care and any additional nursing or care support you have needed. You will need to prove you have incurred these costs though, so make sure you keep all your receipts. If you are not sure whether an expense is covered under Special Damages, ask your solicitor before spending the money. In addition, Special Damages may also include compensation for future lost earnings if the injury is so severe you are unable to continue working in the same role.

    According to the latest figures for 2018/19 released by the Health and Safety Executive late last year, 1.4 million working people in the UK are suffering from a work-related illness, with 69,208 injuries to employees being reported in the last year. Clearly then, workplace accidents and industrial injuries are unfortunately far more commonplace than they should be. This means we and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation.

    If you have suffered a workplace injury, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

    Seasonal Industrial Injury Claims: What to Do?

    It’s that time of year again when employers begin to recruit seasonal staff to cover the busy Christmas and New Year period. However, we tend to think of it as seasonal industrial injury season, due to the influx of new workers in a pacey atmosphere.

    In particular, large-scale dispatch centres operated by the likes of Amazon and Hermes will be taking on additional staff. Their goal is to cope with the rise of demand in the run-up to Christmas. Especially as people order presents for, and send packages to, friends and relatives.

    Those who live close to a large dispatch centre or warehouse are surely well aware of this. You may have seen adverts in your local area looking for warehouse operatives, delivery drivers and the like.

    Regular versus Seasonal Industrial Injury Rights

    Indeed, there are differences between the range of employment rights for full-time employees of a company. Especially depending upon their length of service and those granted to temporary seasonal staff, industrial and workplace safety legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act, protect everyone in a workplace regardless of their employment status.

    Put simply, it is against the law for your employer not to follow the legislation. Therefore, ignorance of their obligations towards employees is not an excuse.

    As a result, employers take on additional staff to cover seasonal demand during busy periods. But it’s absolutely imperative they ensure these temporary staff members still receive full training. Especially if they use any machinery as part of the role. Moreover, the employer must ensure employees are fully aware of all workplace health and safety processes.

    Working in warehouse and factory environments can be particularly dangerous and fraught with potential health and safety hazards. These workplaces can be noisy, and they also feature-heavy industrial machinery.

    Moreover, there’s also the issue of pace in these working atmospheres. In short, they engender a work environment that’s particularly fast. In essence, there are multiple people moving around on a regular basis, some of whom could be driving fork-lift trucks, too.

    Typical examples of industrial injuries

    In essence, examples of season industrial injuries can include the following.

    • Electric shock;
    • Eye injuries;
    • Head and brain injuries;
    • Fractured bones and dislocated joints;
    • Back and spinal damage;
    • Muscle strain;
    • Slips, trips, and falls;
    • Falls from height;
    • Exposure to dangerous substances, and;
    • Chemical burns.

    Truly, it’s your responsibility to ensure you operate any machinery as you have been trained and in a safe and responsible manner. However, the employer has a responsibility to make sure you:

    • receive that training;
    • fully understand it and;
    • are capable of carrying out your tasks accordingly.

    Therefore, if you do suffer an industrial injury while working in a seasonal role; and we can prove that your employer fails in their responsibilities; you can pursue compensation.

    Turn to a seasonal industrial injury law specialist

    Specifically, seasonal industrial injury claims are a specialist area of personal injury law. It’s also worth knowing that the damage from an industrial injury may not be clear until years after. For example, the development of industrial deafness or an asbestos-related disease can take a long time to become apparent.

    At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist law firms with a proven track record in industrial injury compensation claims. After your initial free consultation with our advisors, we’ll match you with the firm who suits your case best.

    With your own specialist solicitor working on your case, you’ve got a partner. That means a fully dedicated service with a commitment to your unique seasonal industrial injury claim.

    Obtaining Experts Reports for Seasonal Industrial Injury Claims

    As experts, the solicitors we collaborate with also know that there is always a wealth of areas to cover. From medical specialists to the industrial line of work you’re in, it’s always wise to tap that knowledge for your case. Accordingly, we seek to strengthen your case with their expert testimony.

    We’ll also obtain medical and industry expert reports if needed to help advise you on the strength of your case. If you do then decide to progress your case, your solicitor will commence with putting your case together.

    • They collect any and all evidence;
    • If possible, contact any available witnesses, and;
    • We’ll also go over the case with you regularly, especially when it comes to new information.

    We do all of this in order to help us build the strongest possible case for your compensation claim to succeed. This evidence aims to do several things to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

    • Prove your entitlement to compensation, and also;
    • Show the extent of your physical, emotional and financial suffering.

    Next, they look through your claim request and carry out their investigation. Then, your employer’s insurance company will either make an offer of compensation or will deny liability. Please be aware that offers at this stage are usually low. Especially if you compare them with the results of other recent settlements.

    The solicitor’s role is to advise you how good the offer is. Then, if you don’t accept it, negotiate with the other side to find an acceptable level of compensation.

    Seasonal industrial injury claims are on the rise.

    What kind of compensation amounts are we talking about here?

    Compensation amounts are not plucked out of thin air. They are calculated by looking at General and Special Damages.

    General Damages account for the physical or psychological trauma you suffer, including your prognosis for recovery. Additionally, they will also include the wages you have lost while recovering from an injury.

    Special Damages, meanwhile, account for any financial expense caused by your accident. This can include

    • Paying for prescriptions;
    • Obtaining reasonable private medical care, and;
    • Costs for any additional nursing or care.

    You’ll need to prove that you incur all these costs too, so be sure you keep all your receipts.

    But if you’re not sure if Special Damages covers an expense, ask your solicitor. In addition, Special Damages may include compensation for future lost earnings. Particularly if the injury you suffer is so severe you are unable to continue working in the same role.

    With the right legal support, most industrial compensation claims find a resolution – all without the need to go to court. As a result, you’ll be able to save yourself both money and time through negotiation.

    But your employer might refuse to accept liability, or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation. If so, the solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court.

    This action needs to happen within three years of the date of the injury*.

    Negotiations will continue even when they set a court date has been set. Accordingly, it’s common to reach an agreement hours before the court hears the merits of the claim.

    Illness claims over 1 million workers a year

    The latest figures for 2018/19 from by the Health and Safety Executive paint a telling picture about the claim. In all, 1.4 million working people in the UK suffer from a workplace illness. In addition, the report lists 69,208 injuries to employees n the last year.

    Clearly then, workplace accidents and industrial injuries are unfortunately far more commonplace than they should be. Because of this, we and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases.

    In short, we’re capable of helping you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

    If you have suffered an industrial injury, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

    *Also, when they definitively determine that the blame for your symptoms falls on your job.