Four Common Workplace Hazards To Be Aware Of

With common workplace hazards, it’s important to know that warehouse and industrial work environments are as relevant now as ever. This reality comes as a result of the steady growth in the transport & logistics sector employment since statistics were first tracked by the UK Government in 1997.

Working from home?

In other types of workplace, the trend of working from home is a viable alternative to the office. As we’ve seen recently, this is especially so in times of pandemic and multiple everyday life responsibilities the office can distract from.

Yet veterans of transportation and logistics shouldn’t believe the hype about working from home anytime soon. Indeed, other industries have embraced working from home. However, in transport and logistics, the loaded cage that needed to be in the truck five minutes ago isn’t going to be in your laptop or the laundry basket on the upstairs landing.

The fact remains that “on-site, on-time” is still the name of the game. Thus, warehousing environment work is as relevant as it ever has been. Consequently, there are still many common workplace hazards that managers, human resources personnel and assistants on the shop floor need to account for.

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

Common workplace hazards and ramping up safety

But will companies respond to the new economic times in a safe and compliant manner? With COVID-19 pandemic adding new biological hazards to the usual slips, trips and falls, unsafe working conditions are as risky as ever. If an accident does occur, The Compensation Experts team is there for you.

We help and advise on a variety of compensation claims that we talk about in the article below, such as:

Before it gets to that stage, it’s important to know what you can do about common workplace hazards on your site. Below, we share four risk assessment boxes you can tick to reduce workplace risk, increase health and safety and prevent unnecessary injuries. We’ll also link to some helpful worldwide resources you can learn more about them in.

1. Physical Hazards and Housekeeping

It’s imperative to treat any busy, highly-trafficked industrial floor with regard for safety. With forklifts and other moving equipment on the go, blocked entrances and pathways create logjams, slow productivity and twist ankles.

PLAN OF ATTACK

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Ensure you have a record of safety equipment’s expiration dates, and carry out regular reviews.

2. Harassment, Bullying and Psychosocial Hazards

You can easily forget this is a hazard, but linking mental well-being and physical well-being is an important piece of assessing hazardous workplace conditions.

We’ve become alert to the effects of harassment, sexual misconduct and bullying in the workplace. In short, we’re asking our workers on the warehouse floor to up their game. Some reliable resources even interlink chemical hazards (such as airborne viruses) with psychosocial workplace damages. So the big takeaway is that if an action can alter an employee’s mental well-being, that action needs to be addressed as a damaging hazard.

PLAN OF ATTACK

Over 110,000 non-fatal workplace accidents owe to one common workplace hazard: lifting or heavy object handling.

3. Ergonomics Hazards and Falls From Height

Above all, this is a widely encompassing safety hazard. 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 deaths.
  • Moving vehicles such as forklifts caused 30 fatalities.
  • Contact with Dangerous Machinery resulted in 14 deaths.

PLAN OF ATTACK

  • To educate your workers of safer working practices, 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

We mentioned airborne viruses earlier as a type of chemical hazard. For example, some symptoms chemical hazards present include skin irritation, occupational asthma, dizziness, and headaches. but that’s just the beginning: Chemical hazards are defined as any “hazardous substance that can cause harm to your employees.”

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 sets in, even leading to the refusal to order up-to-date replacement chemicals. And as you’d expect, the level of danger to your workplace rises.

PLAN OF ATTACK

  • 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.

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:

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.

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.

‘National Sickie Day’ highlights a culture that causes workplace illnesses and injuries

It was interesting to note the coverage the so-called ‘National Sickie Day’ received earlier this week.

While the BBC played it with a very straight bat, other media sources took a more light-hearted approach with both The Sun and The Daily Star focusing their coverage on what they considered to be the weirdest and worst excuses for employees calling in sick.

What the BBC chose to focus on is certainly of concern though, with the broadcaster highlighting a survey showing around 8.6 million UK workers took sick days last year because they found their job “too painful” with 12 million workers going into work while genuinely sick. The survey, conducted by Kantar, was of 1,246 working adults and was then weighed to reflect the wider working population of almost 33 million people.

While you may arguably need to take the researchers’ claims that work culture, colleagues and workloads were to blame with a pinch of salt to an extent given the numerical claims have been weighed, other sources do support such claims, as the latest data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that 23.5 million working days were lost in the 2018/19 financial year due to work-related ill health.

It should also be noted that, according to the HSE figures, a further 4.7 million working days were lost in the last financial year due to non-fatal work injuries.

The issue

We would argue then that we have an issue in this country with work-related sickness and injuries. In particular, we would say that the psychological effect of UK workplaces needs to be reviewed – we say that as, when digging down into the HSE figures regarding the number of working days lost, stress, depression and anxiety account for the majority of the 23.5 million days lost last year at 12.8 million. In addition, those on sick leave from work with stress, depression and anxiety are also off for longer, taking 21.2 days off work on average compared to an overall average of 15.1 days off when accounting for all work-related ill health and non-fatal work injuries.

It may also be that the tone taken by the likes of The Sun and The Daily Star – arguably a mocking tone that makes fun of those who call in sick – when reporting on something like a supposed ‘National Sickie Day’ contributes to the issues too. While those articles are clearly aimed at making fun at those people who use frivolous reasons to ‘throw a sickie’, it could be argued that they contribute to a culture in this country where people who take time off work are viewed with an underlaying air of suspicion. Because of this, people – 12 million of them according to the Kantar research – then turn up for work when they are genuinely ill. It is because of this, we would argue, that we have seen a rise in so-called ‘presenteeism’ in the UK in recent years, as people feel they have to carry on even when they are not fit to work as they will otherwise face accusations that they are ‘putting it on’ or are ‘weak’.

It could be said that this kind of attitude, and employers allowing it to flourish, rather than addressing the issues that caused 23.5 million working days to be lost in the last financial year creates a toxic work culture. It also speaks volumes to us that the happiest workforces and most productive economies in the world, such as those in the Scandinavian countries, are those where workers feel they can take time off work when they are sick without fear of persecution or loss of opportunities.

How to reduce workplace illness and injury

We need to get away from this culture of presenteeism and of not dealing with the issues we are facing at work then. If you ignore a problem, it will not go away. Regardless of whether it is a niggling injury caused by your work or negative comments from a colleague that are upsetting you, if you ignore the problem, it will continue to fester and get worse.

For example, if you are in a role that requires manual lifting and you pull a muscle in your back while lifting something that you find too heavy, that pain isn’t going to go away by you then continuing to lift things at work that you find too heavy. The pain is going to get worse and worse to the point that you will need to take time off work and your general quality of life may also be seriously affected too.

Similarly, if your employer allocates you an unreasonable amount of work that you struggle to get through and this causes you undue stress and anxiety, that is not acceptable and something should be said as it will eventually cause you to burn out. In this regard, if you allow your employer to get away with allocating an unreasonable amount of work to you, it will embolden them and makes it more likely to do it with other members of staff too.

Ultimately, employers are legally obliged to take all reasonable steps to protect both their employees’ physical and mental health. If they don’t and it leads to you suffering a workplace injury or work-related illness, including stress, depression and anxiety, then you may be able to claim compensation from them for any medical expenses you incur or loss of earnings you suffer as a result of needing to take time off work.

How we can help

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in successful workplace illness and injury compensation claims. Initially, one of our advisors with have a chat with you to find out how you came to be ill or 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 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. This means we and the legal firms we work with 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 8763.

The rise of occupational stress. What your employer needs to do to reduce a “public health emergency”

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.

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.