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No matter your place of work, there are a variety of workplace hazards that you should be aware of. With these in mind, you should be able to work comfortably knowing what workplace hazards to look out for.

What is a hazard in the workplace?

A workplace hazard is any physical or mental obstacle, tool, or vehicle that can cause danger or personal injury to an employee in the workplace. There are numerous types of workplace hazards, too many to list here, but being aware of the concept and the most common types will go a long way to avoiding workplace accidents.

Common workplace hazards can put you at risk, and take you away from the job.

Common workplace hazards

Regardless of your place of work, there will always be onsite workplace hazards that you should be aware of. While your employer must minimise the risk of workplace hazards, you should always be aware of their potential.

Some workplace hazards may be physical dangers that crop up in your workplace environment, others might be physical injuries you could suffer as a result of poor work posture and habits.

A few examples of common workplace hazards could include:

  • Loose objects in the work environments
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from bad typing posture
  • Bags poking out from under desks

Of course, there are far more serious workplace hazards that you should be aware of too. So, to avoid potential hazards in the workplace, it’s always a good idea to carry out a risk assessment of your work area when possible.

Below are four risk assessment boxes you can tick to help reduce workplace risk, increase health and safety, and prevent unnecessary injuries in the workplace.

1. Physical Hazards in the work environment

Even in an office environment, it’s really important to look out for potential physical 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 hazards that can pose a risk to you.

How to prevent physical hazards at work

Here are a few other potential physical hazards in the workplace, and things you should bear in mind to lessen their risks:

  • Overloading the top of your cages/containers creates unnecessary risks. Such oversights can set off sprinklers or restrict access through low-hanging doorways.
  • Cords and wires require frequent review and risk assessment. Loose cords can slow down your environment and you should always replace frayed cords, which can create an unnecessary health and safety nightmare.
  • If possible, commit to reducing the number of confined spaces you need to operate in to avoid clutter.
  • Ensure you have a record of any safety equipment’s expiration dates and carry out regular reviews to ensure they’re up to scratch.

2. Harassment, bullying and psychosocial hazards

This is perhaps one of the most overlooked workplace hazards, but linking mental well-being and physical well-being 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 well-being, that action needs to be addressed as a damaging hazard.

How to prevent psychological workplace hazards

Here are a few common psychological workplace hazards to be aware of, and potential solutions:

  • Develop thorough, comprehensive policies to deal with each kind of psychosocial hazard.
  • Make certain the process to report a violation and maintain compliance does not create new levels of workplace hostility.
  • Take precautions to ensure unreasonable workloads aren’t being assigned to single individuals.
  • Ensure there is buy-in to handling psychosocial hazards from the top of the workplace organisation down. As a result, on-site buy-in from teams will be more likely to happen.
  • Above all, you should treat any psychosocial and on-site mental hazards like physical hazards. Both can lead to punitive and reputational damage to your worksite.

3. Ergonomics hazards and falls from heights

Trips, slips, and falls are some of the most widely encompassing safety hazards. Moreover, it’s a highly relevant one in the UK. Between 2018 and 2019, the HSE reported some harrowing figures regarding ergonomic hazards, including:

  • In 2017/18, over 110,000 non-fatal workplace injuries were due to handling, lifting, or carrying heavy objects.
  • Falling from height caused 40 workplace deaths.
  • Moving vehicles such as forklifts caused 30 fatalities.
  • Coming into contact with dangerous machinery resulted in 14 deaths.

How to prevent ergonomic hazards at work

To ensure that these potential hazards in the workplace can be avoided, the following are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Educate your workers in safer working practices and aim to keep it simple. Inform your workers, but don’t overload them with information.
  • Find safer, perhaps even more practical, scenarios that remove unnecessary work at height scenarios, such as poles for window washing.
  • Workers should have a say in addressing manual handling practices that:
    • Reduce strain
    • Increase regard for safety, and
    • Minimise burdensome workloads

4. Chemical Hazards

Out of all the common hazards in the workplace, chemicals injuries are the most dangerous. They can also be incredibly hard to spot in some scenarios. Chemical hazards are defined as any “hazardous substance that can cause harm to your employees.”

Symptoms of chemical hazards can include skin irritation, occupational asthma, dizziness, and headaches. But that’s just the beginning. Therefore, you should err on the side of caution by having as few chemicals on-site as possible.

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.

How to prevent chemical hazard accidents

To help mitigate the risks associated with on-site chemicals, you can do some of the following:

  • Strive to have as few chemicals on-site as possible – it makes life safer, reduces removal expense, and minimises the risk of breaking the law.
  • Create and maintain a thorough inventory of the on-site chemicals needed for your warehouse, especially regarding expiration dates.
  • Along similar lines, ensure you order only what you need. Chemicals that fall out of date aren’t easy to get rid of, and an overabundance of them can lead to fines and penalties.

There are, of course, many more common hazards in the workplace that you should keep an eye out for no matter your place of work. When you sit down to write your risk assessment, take time to think about every common workplace hazard you could include.

And if you have suffered an accident at work due to common hazards in the workplace, you may very well be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with the team at The Compensation Experts today to see what your claim might be worth.

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.

Be sure to read more about this topic, including:

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

In her final annual report before she left the role last year, England’s then-Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, declared mental health issues to be a public health emergency.

While such an announcement could be seen as being overly-dramatic, it is supported by evidence.

The impact of occupational stress

For example, according to the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 12.8 million working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2018/19. On average, each person suffering from stress, depression and anxiety (what we will call ‘occupational stress’) took around 21.2 days off work. This accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health and 54% of working days lost in 2018/19. In total, 23.5 million working days were lost in 2018/19 due to all types of work-related ill-health.

We have been unable to find a reliable estimate on what this cost the UK economy, but it would be fair to assume that it is in the billions of pounds.

Occupational stress issues can be particularly prevalent in certain roles too. For example, BBC Radio Tees revealed last week that Cleveland Police officers are spending more time on long term sick leave with mental health issues than for any other reason. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request showed that the force had 132 officers absent last year because of mental health, compared to 62 for all other sicknesses.

This trend is reflected across all of the emergency services, as another BBC report, last year showed that sick leave for emergency services personnel due to mental health issues rose by a third between 2014 and 2018. It is understandable that emergency services personnel would have high rates of occupational stress given they deal with traumatic situations on a daily basis. However, the HSE statistics also show that those working in other sectors, such as the Civil Service and education sectors, also have high instances of sick leave due to mental health issues.

Furthermore, when analysing the 2018/19 figures, the HSE concluded that;

Work-related stress, depression or anxiety continues to represent a significant ill health condition in the workforce of Great Britain … The reasons cited as causes of work-related stress are also consistent over time with the workload, lack of managerial support and organisational change as the primary causative factors.

Clearly then, a range of factors that are consistent across different industries is causing this rise in occupational stress.

What employers need to do

Therefore, it is for employers to find ways to alleviate the stresses being placed on workers. While it is reasonable to expect employees to work hard and give their best, it is unreasonable to expect workers to sacrifice their health, either physical or mental, for a paycheque. In particular, achieving a good work-life balance has actually been found to improve productivity.

This has been seen recently in the calls to create a four-day week. For example, in November 2018, Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company, switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week and maintained their pay. A study of the trial found that productivity increased in the four days they worked so there was no drop in the total amount of work done. Similarly, Microsoft’s Japan office moved to a four-day week for the month of August last year and found that the shortened weeks led to more efficient meetings, happier workers and boosted productivity by 40%.

While it may not be feasible for all employers to adopt a four-day working week, flexible working practices could arguably also help to alleviate work-related mental ill-health by allowing employees to more easily fit their work around other aspects of their lives, such as the need to take children to and from school, medical appointments and the like. Workers should also be aware that, after you have worked for your employer for 26 weeks, you are legally entitled to request flexible working too. It is for your employer to then decide whether they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and give you reasons for this decision.

Furthermore, in addition to mentioning workload, lack of support from managers and organisational change as factors causing workers mental ill health, the HSE report also highlights “tight deadlines” and “too much responsibility”. It is entirely understandable that an employee’s mental health could be adversely affected if they are set unrealistic targets, such as tight deadlines, or are feeling overwhelmed by too much responsibility given to them by management who are then unsupportive.

Ultimately, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff from anything that may cause them harm. This includes an employee’s mental health too.

If it is found that an employer has failed to take all reasonable measures to fulfil this duty of care to his/her staff, the employee affected can claim against their employer for the damage caused to them. This, among other things, can include for loss of earnings while the employee was away from work due to mental ill-health caused by the job they were in.

How we can help you

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful compensation claims against employers whose workplaces have caused its staff to suffer from mental ill-health. 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 about your particular circumstances, 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 have had to take sick leave from work due to mental health issues and feel this was because of the working environment, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out if you may have a claim, do not hesitate to get in touch with The Compensation Experts via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

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.