Health and safety and accidents


Health and safety accidents are governed by health and safety laws and regulations and by the common law. An employer has a duty to comply with health and safety laws and regulations, and a duty to provide a safe place of work and working conditions for their employees, so as to avoid the occurrence of health and safety accidents.

The employer’s duty of care

Health and safety accidents can happen any workplace, whether in an office, factory, industrial or construction setting. Common office health and safety accidents include injury through repetitive strain, faulty equipment and small trips and accidents. Common industrial injuries occur due to faulty machinery, heavy lifting, and dangerous work.

Employers have a duty to carry out risk assessments on the environments in which employees are working, including:

  • Machines and equipment
  • Flooring and surfaces

Large employers have a duty to put in place a health and safety policy.

Employers also have a duty to provide:

  • Appropriate training
  • Sufficient lighting
  • Sufficient ventilation
  • Correct facilities for those with disabilities

If an employer is in breach of this duty and an accident occurs at work then an employee can bring a claim for compensation against his employer, provided the employee was not at fault.

Employees are also entitled to bring a claim even if the accident was the fault of a fellow employee. Any claim for compensation must be brought within three years of the accident occurring.

Resulting injuries

Safety accidents can result in most types of injuries and severe breaches of health and safety have previously led to anything from electrical shock to industrial diseases such as:

  • Dermatitis
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Asthma
  • Asbestos-related illnesses

These accidents can have a huge impact on your life and the life of your family. In order to help your claim, ensure that the accident is reported to the correct person in your office and visit your GP to obtain a medical report.

Using a solicitor

A solicitor can be instructed by an individual who has been injured in a health and safety accident. A solicitor will be able to bring an accident compensation claim, or personal-injury claim, in the civil courts.

The court will consider the long-term effects of any health and safety accident, including:

  • The loss of future earnings
  • The cost of present and future health care

The court may also consider awarding damages on the basis of pain and suffering caused by the accident. It is compulsory for an employer to have insurance for both employees and visitors in case a health and safety accident occurs on the premises, which then requires compensation.

A solicitor in this area will be an expert in health and safety regulations and in bringing an accident compensation claim before the courts. If you have been involved in a health and safety accident and suffered an injury, it is highly advisable to seek professional legal advice to determine if you are entitled to injury compensation.

Want to know more about instructing a solicitor? See our page on health and safety solicitors.

Do you have an accident at work to report, and you believe it was no fault of your own? Contact Law works with a number of specialist personal injury lawyers who deal specifically in safety accident claims. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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