What counts as a slip, trip or fall?

The most common type of accidents in the workplace continue to be slips, trips and falls. Although these terms sound very similar and may seem like they have been grouped together because of this, they are in fact quite different from each other and protecting you from injuries caused by slips, trips and falls is part of your employer’s legal duty of care to you under the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act and other relevant legislation.

Slips

In terms of the workplace environment, a ‘slip’ is defined as any time your feet lose grip on the surface you are either standing or walking on. This may be due to the floor being wet, because it has recently been polished or because a rug hasn’t been securely fixed to the ground.

An example of when this would stray into the territory of your employer breaching their duty of care to you would be if the cleaning staff mopped the floor but then failed to leave out the correct warning signage and you then slipped on the wet floor and harm yourself. In this instance, your employer would be at fault for failing to ensure the cleaning staff had done their job correctly and you would potentially be able to claim compensation from your employer for any loss of earnings you suffered while having to take time off work in order to recover.

Trips

In terms of the workplace,  a ‘trip’ usually happens when you are walking on an uneven surface or if the lighting in part of your workplace isn’t bright enough for you to see items that are large enough for you to trip over.

If your workplace has a cluttered floor and, for whatever reason, you trip over and injure yourself, this would be an example of a trip in the workplace your employer would be liable for.

Falls

While the term ‘fall’ usually makes us think of a fall from a great height, that is not always the case in the workplace. For example, you may simply be using a small stepladder to help a colleague hang something on the office wall. If the stepladder is faulty though, you or your colleague may incur 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.

How we can help

Slips, trips and falls are still the most common form of workplace injury and, only by following Health and Safety guidelines, will the number of incidents start to come down.

However, if you find yourself injured because of one of the above types of accidents, be sure to speak to a recognised personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist law firms who have a track record making successful workplace injury compensation claims. We and the 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 decide to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence 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 and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

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

What should I do if I’ve suffered Repetitive Strain Injury at work?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for an increasingly common range of injuries that affect the hands and wrists and which are caused by prolonged and repeated movement. Initial symptoms may only initially appear while a certain action is being carried but may include aching, soreness or pain, stiffness, cramp, loss of strength in your hands, throbbing or numbness.

(Please note that RSI is a different condition to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affects the same area.)

Symptoms will usually be mild initially and will not cause you too much concern. However, if left unchecked, these symptoms can gradually develop into severe, potentially constant pain and long-term health issues.

What causes RSI?

Repetitive strain injury is usually caused by damage to the tendons due to prolonged over-use. Poor posture, often related to inadequate working conditions, can also exacerbate tendon damage, leading to RSI. Other contributory factors include cold temperatures, often from working outside or if the office you work in isn’t heated sufficiently, as well as regular contact with vibrating machinery, which can also cause other industrial diseases like Vibration White Finger.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who carries out repetitive movements is potentially at risk from contracting RSI. Office workers who spend long periods of time tapping at computer keyboards often get RSI in their fingers and wrists. Factory workers who spend hours of every day assembling items or carrying out repetitive duties often contract RSI as a result of their work. Construction workers who work outside in cold temperatures, often with vibrating machinery such as drills are also at risk.

What to do if you think you might have RSI

The first step should always be to visit your doctor or GP, who will be able to tell you what steps you need to take to stop your condition worsening. As you will now have been officially diagnosed by a medical professional and this diagnosis will now be a part of your medical records, it also means that your employer will be required to act to help stop the condition getting worse as well.

Your employer’s duty

It should be said though that your employer has a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and its subsequent updates to do everything reasonably possible to protect your physical well-being at work. This includes doing everything it reasonably can to prevent you form developing RSI in the first place. If you do then develop any kind of injury or disease, whether it has been caused by the workplace or not, your employer is also required to make reasonable adjustments so that you are able to continue working.

How we can help

If you believe that your workplace environment or your tasks at work increase the risk of you developing RSI, you should first speak to your employer to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made. If these do not occur, and you then develop the condition, then your employer is liable and you may be able to claim compensation from them.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful industrial disease and workplace injury 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 decide to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence 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 and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

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

A Guide to Making an Office Injury Claim

There are many categories when it comes to work injury claims, and injuries sustained during work in an office environment is one of them. It’s easy to think of workplace injuries to be more in physical lines of work, such as manual labour, where accidents are more likely, but no matter where your work is based, an employer has a legal obligation to manage your safety, and this includes the office environment.

The following are important details regarding any claim made relating to an office injury.

What Counts as an Office Injury?

The types of injuries which are relevant towards a claim are as follows:

  • Repetitive strain injury. This is an injury most suffered by office workers, due to the long hours spent sitting at a desk, usually typing and using their hands in the same way for hours on end. This injury involves pain felt in the muscles, nerves, and tendons.
  • Any injury sustained from a wet floor. If the floor is not properly signposted to signal a hazard and you have fallen or slipped, any subsequent injury is relevant.
  • Any strain caused as a result of an incorrect procedure. This includes back strain from lifting objects which you have not been properly trained to lift.
  • Eye strain from overuse of laptops or VDUs.
  • Being injured as the result of a fallen object.
  • An injury sustained from faulty equipment. An example would be an electric shock; even if it is an injury from a faulty kettle in the break room, that equipment is still the responsibility of your employer.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is caused by excess pressure on the nerve in your wrist and can be exacerbated by typing at a desk for long periods with your wrists in the same position.

Check Your Responsibilities as an Employee

It’s important before making any claim that you are sure you have done everything expected of you as an employee in regards to health and safety. For example, if your employer has provided you with the best equipment to limit eye strain or repetitive strain injury, and you have chosen to not use it regularly or else have been misusing it, then this means your employer is not fully liable for the subsequent injury. If you know that you have fulfilled everything required of you as an employee and your injury is a direct result of your employer alone, then you are eligible to speak to an advisor about a claim.

What’s Involved?

Once the claim has been confirmed, the procedure will be as follows:

  • Gathering proof of the nature and extent of the injury. This could be obtaining medical records, checking the employer’s accident book, or potentially an independent medical assessment.
  • Proving that the injury was not unavoidable or a matter of chance. This is important, as it means being able to prove that the injury would not have occurred naturally, and is a direct result of the neglected work environment.

Speak with the team at The Compensation Experts for further advice.

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.

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.

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.

A Guide To Everyday Injuries: The Next Steps To Take

Many personal injuries are without fault and will only need medical care to resolve them. However, if you have contracted an everyday injury and you believe that a company or workplace was at fault for your injury, then it may be possible to make a personal injury accident claim towards this.

Seeking a Solicitor

Firstly, you should find a solicitor for your UK personal injury claims who can help to discuss your case with you and offer advice on the next steps. They will be able to represent and investigate your case in a professional manner, as well as help to defend you in court. They may also be able to offer advice on the strength of your case and what evidence you will need to allow you to succeed.

Collect Medical Evidence

You should ensure that you keep or request any medical records concerning your injury, especially if your injury is short-term and has healed quickly over a matter of weeks. Your medical records will be able to state the extent of your injuries and prove that your injury was due to negligence on the part of another party. You should also seek a second opinion if you are not happy with the results of a GP examination in order to benefit your case. You will also need to collect other sources of evidence such as any record of financial loss due to your injury.

Sending a Claim Letter

Your solicitor will help you to write a claim letter direct to the company which you intend to sue. It will detail how the injury happened and its extent, as well as how their actions contributed to your sustaining of the injury. The company who is responsible for your injury will then have a set period in which to reply to this letter, where they must accept or reject liability for the injury.

Stating a Compensation Offer

Then, you will need to declare a compensation offer which would be agreeable to you. In most cases, this will be organised between you and your solicitor, who will discuss with you what you are prepared to accept and what a reasonable offer should be. You will then have to state whether you will offer to settle for that amount of compensation. Then, the company must respond either agreeing to the amount or disagreeing, and through this, the case can hopefully be settled without going to court.

Going to Court

If the offer is not reasonable or if the company does not claim responsibility, you may have to go to court to claim compensation. You should take into consideration several aspects before going to court to settle your case, such as the strength of your personal injury claims and the cost. If you do decide to, your solicitor will guide you as to the next steps in order for you to claim personal injury compensation. In these cases, the judge will decide how much compensation you will receive from the responsible party.

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.