The most common injuries at work this year


Despite significant advances in health and safety, accidents, injuries and deaths at work can still occur. RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) have reported 111 fatal injuries to workers in industry for 2019/20.

In this blog, Browell Smith & Co will outline making an accident at work claim and look at the latest figures released regarding accidents at work and where they are occurring. 

The latest RIDDOR report provides headline numbers on workplace fatal injuries that were reported to enforcing authorities in 2019/20. The report revealed that 40% of fatal work injuries came from the construction industry with the main form of accident being falls from heights. Please note that these current figures are provisional and are set to be finalised in July 2021.

In a previous blog post in July 2019 we discussed how falls from heights were the biggest at-work killer of that provisional year, so it is becoming more evident that this is the dominating form of at-work fatality.

However, fatal injuries are thankfully rare events, and early figures can vary due to the natural variation of events. One notable exclusion from these statistics is fatal diseases, including COVID-19.

Who is affected by injuries at work?

Even minor injuries can require a period of recovery time and damage quality of life. They can also lead to absenteeism, leading to a person being unable to do their job and in turn a loss of income and reduction in independence.

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, recovery can take weeks or even months. If treatment isn’t sought, full recovery may never happen. The victim may become unable to take part in activities they enjoy, and so their quality of life at home is affected.

But it is not just the victim who is losing income due to the injury, the businesses themselves lose out. Health and safety procedures might seem like a drain on time and resources, but the cost of injuries can run far higher: the Health and Safety Executive estimated the cost to businesses of injuries and ill health came to just under £15bn in 2015/6. It also claims that two million working days were lost over the same period.

What protection are employers required to provide?

Employers are subject to the Common Law and enshrined in many laws enacted by Parliament over the years, as well as following Directives of the EU. Consequently, employers have a duty to do all they reasonably can to prevent employees from suffering injuries or illness caused by negligence or breach of statutory duty within the workplace.

When an employer fails to do this, resulting in an injury that was not the employee’s fault, then the employee is entitled to bring a claim for damages against the employer and its insurer.

The level of protection varies, naturally, according to the work environment and the nature of the job. Every company should carry out a risk assessment to identify areas of potential risk, what should be done to minimise those risks, and whether improvements to processes or safety equipment need to be provided.

Someone working in a chemical plant or on a fishing trawler will naturally be exposed to more risks than someone who works in an office, but the duty of care on the employer remains the same and everybody has the same right to be protected.

Why should I take legal action?

It’s important that we achieve the compensation deserved and put you back in the position you were in before your accident. You have the right to be compensated when compensation is due and it is a core ideal at the heart of the British justice system.

It is also important that lessons are learned– if accidents go unreported, and if companies go unpunished for exposing their staff to unnecessary risk, then improvements won’t be made, and there is the chance it could happen again to someone else in the future.

Of course injuries can be caused by a wide range of occurrences, such as human error or even overconfidence, in which case responsibility remains with the individuals. Acting in a way that may injure yourself or others is never acceptable, but, when the fault lies in a systematic error or failure to implement the correct industry-standard safety procedures, then a personal injury claim can be made.

Can you take action against an employer and keep your job?

Taking legal action against your current employer may feel like an awkward situation to put yourself into. You should bear in mind that the claim will be taken against the company’s insurers.

As a valued employee, it will be in your employer’s interests to get you back feeling and performing at 100%. We deal with a lot of people who have made successful claims and remained with their employer– if you have any questions about doing this, we would be happy to talk it through with you.

No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims

All initial Personal Injury enquiries will be assessed on a ‘No Win – No Fee’ basis without obligation. Contact our expert team today to arrange a callback to discuss your particular requirements.

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