Injured at Work

Injured at Work

An accident at work can result in serious injury and be immensely disruptive to your everyday lifestyle, with a significant financial impact. The injury may be such that you have to take time off work, losing earnings, or have to pay for treatment. It may even result in you having to give up work or make long-term adjustments to your life.

There are industries which are considered to be more dangerous than others; however, whether you are working in an office, factory, building site, farm or shop, no one should be exposed to an unreasonable risk of injury at work. Your employer has duties to you and if risks are identified in your employment then they have to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of injury to you. Such steps can include sufficient training on a particular task or providing you with suitable equipment.

Quite simply, you have a right to be safe at work. So if you have been injured at work within the last three years and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

Mrs S was awarded £135,000 after suffering an injury at work after being assaulted by a service user and suffering an injury to her wrist. The award also reflects insufficient training by Mrs S’ employer.

"Your patience and professionalism was second to none throughout the process of the claim.   Your kindness to me when I was losing faith in the whole thing kept me going.   The outcome of the claim that you managed to secure for me is a life changing amount of money, and will make things much easier when I have to give up work through my injury and continuing pain.  I, and my family, are truly indebted to you.

Workplace incidents

Your workplace should be a safe place, but sadly our team find there are common scenarios where accidents and injury occur at work:

Accidents on construction sites

Construction sites can often be very dangerous places to work. Investigations into an accident on a construction site usually will involve more than one party as you may be employed by a sub-contractor; however, the site will be controlled by another, larger company.

There are usually a number of contractors and subcontractors on site working on different areas and tasks. This can result in a high risk of hazards such as falling material, electrical and machinery faults, defective scaffolding, falling from heights, dangerous machinery, and slips and trips. In addition, there may be a large flow of site traffic, both pedestrians and vehicles, which can result in injury if not properly organised. Your employer, subcontractors and the company in control of the site have a duty to take reasonable care for your health and safety while working on the site, even if this is not your usual place of work.

Offshore accidents

Working on an oil rig is high risk given the type of work involved, the unusual working environment and varying weather conditions. Injuries can occur in operations such as manual handling or lifting, testing, rope access, helideck, decommissioning, and explosions and can involve defective equipment, falls, or slips and trips. In addition, the oil or gas extracted from the sea bed can be very hazardous.

Often tasks offshore, given the nature of equipment used, will be carried out by a number of employees. Your colleague may make a mistake which leads to your injury. Your employer is responsible for the acts and/or failures of their employees, so if you are injured as a result of their actions you may have grounds for a work injury compensation claim.

Your employer has a duty to take reasonable care for your health and safety while you are working offshore, and this includes travelling to and from work by sea or air.

Hurt by falling objects

Being hit by falling objects at work can be cause of serious injury and potentially death. Such workplace injuries can happen in a variety of ways and in different working environments, for example if:

  • Items are not stacked correctly in storerooms and warehouses
  • There is defective equipment which has not been inspected or maintained resulting in parts breaking free
  • Other employees drop objects while working at height
  • Your employer has failed to put safety netting in place on, for example, scaffolding structures

 Your employer has a duty to reduce the risk of injury to you. If you are injured at work due to falling objects you may be eligible to make an injury at work claim.

Workplace falls

Your employer has a duty to provide a safe working environment for you, including preventing the risk of slips and trips. Also your employer has a responsibility to ensure that every floor and traffic route in your workplace is suitably constructed and free from obstructions and substances which may cause you to slip, trip or fall. The flooring should not be uneven or slippery.

Your employer is also responsible for the acts and/or failures of their employees. So, for instance, if your colleague left an object on the floor and you tripped over it injuring yourself, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim against your employer.

Injuries due to poor condition of workplace

If you suffer an injury at work due to the poor condition of your working environment, your employer could be liable. They have a duty to provide a safe place of work with safe access to and from that place of work.

Your employer should ensure that your workplace is kept in a safe and tidy condition, and your workstation, including your chair, is suitable for you to carry out your work duties. The flooring should be suitably constructed and free from obstructions and substances which may cause you to slip, trip or fall.  The workplace should also have suitable and sufficient lighting and be well ventilated with a sufficient quantity of fresh air.

Injuries from manual handling accidents

While carrying out your employment duties you may have to carry out manual handling work, in other words move a load by carrying, pushing, pulling or lifting. This might be part of your daily tasks at work or something you may do less frequently. Manual handling tasks can take place in any working environment, not only in construction sites and warehouses but also in offices and shops. 

Done incorrectly or with the wrong equipment or with too heavy a load, manual handling can cause injury. It can result in back injuries, muscular injuries to the arms and legs and fractures. Such tasks can also worsen any existing medical conditions you may have.

Your employer is responsible for your health and safety while at work and should protect employees from injuries as a result of manual handling tasks.

With regards to manual handling tasks, your employer should review the working practices and if reasonably practicle, remove any manual handling task which can be avoided. All unavoidable tasks involving manual handling should be risk assessed. The risk assessment should consider your particular abilities including whether you have any existing or previous injuries or if you are pregnant. Your employer ought to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of injury to you while carrying out such tasks. They can do so by organising the work appropriately so there is adequate manpower, and by providing proper training and suitable equipment.

Issues from unsafe systems

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe system of work. This means they are responsible for your health and safety at work and should assess the risks of any task they want you to do. Once assessed, your employer should then devise and implement a safe method for you to carry out that task. If this is not done and the system is unsafe, there is a danger that you may suffer an injury. In such a situation, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your work-related injury.

Faulty equipment incidents

You may use work equipment to carry out tasks for your job. Work equipment is defined as ‘any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not)’.  So work equipment can be a range of objects used in the course of your employment. This can include, for example, a trolley, power tools, or your work van. The equipment is ‘used’ if the activity involves starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning.

Your employer has a duty to provide you with safe work equipment. They must inspect and maintain the work equipment and ensure you are trained to use the equipment. Specific dangers and risks when using equipment, such as machinery, should be pointed out to you during your training and your employer must provide you with suitable protective equipment such as goggles and gloves. They must also remove faulty equipment immediately for repair.

If you are injured by faulty work equipment then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injury.

Lack of or no protective equipment

Your employer has a duty to provide you with personal protective equipment (PPE). Such equipment can include goggles, gloves and helmets. The PPE supplied must be fit for purpose, properly stored and maintained, you must be trained in its use and you must use it properly. Your employer has to enforce the correct use of the PPE.

If you have been injured as a result of defective or lack of PPE then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injury.

Hurt by industrial equipment

Working with industrial equipment can be dangerous. Serious injuries can occur if employees are struck by a moving part of the machine, caught or crushed by the machine. In some cases people can get burns from very hot or cold equipment.

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe place of work with safe equipment. They must inspect and maintain their machinery and equipment to ensure it is safe for use. It must be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. If the machinery has a maintenance log, your employer must ensure the log is kept up to date.

The equipment should be risk assessed. If the equipment is suitable for its task then your employer has to take reasonable steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury to you by providing personal protective equipment and suitable and sufficient training.

Hurt by industrial vehicle

Using or working near vehicles in your work is always potentially dangerous. For instance, you may suffer an injury if you fall from a stationary or moving vehicle while at work, and with loading or unloading vehicles often slip, trip and falls can occur. If you have been injured as a result then you may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused poor vehicle maintenance, a mistake of a colleague, lack of training of failing to provide suitable equipment such as a loading platform.

You may also be injured by a vehicle working in too close a proximity to you. In a warehouse or construction site there is high traffic and it is essential, to avoid the risk of injury, that the traffic is organised with designated traffic routes. The workplace should have a suitable and safe layout. For example working in an environment where colleagues are operating forklift trucks can be dangerous if there is poor supervision and a lack of training. You may be hit by a forklift, or by items dropping from a forklift arm at height or a forklift may overturn while you are operating it.

How can Thorntons help?

Our specialist dedicated team, including Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law and Solicitor Advocates, will investigate your claim and provide expert advice to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your loss and suffering. We understand that the injury as well as the claim process may be upsetting. We are on hand to discuss matters with you and will guide you through the process.

As Personal Injury Solicitors, we can usually act for you on a no win, no fee basis. This means that there is no financial risk to you when pursuing your personal injury claim. If your claim is not successful, you do not pay our fee. If your claim is successful, our fee will be deducted from your compensation.

You can start your claim today by calling us free on 0800 731 8434 or complete our enquiry form. We will talk through your situation, answer any questions you may have and advise you if you can make a personal injury compensation claim. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim. You can also take a look at our Claims Calculator to find out how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Useful Information

Some of our other clients found the following information helped them understand the claims process better.

Call us FREE 8am to 8pm

0800 731 8434

Start Your Claim

If you would like us to call you, complete our quick call back form below.

We use cookies on this website. By continuing to use the website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out how to manage cookies here or Accept & hide message