The latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that there are almost 80,000 reportable injuries each year, with work-related illnesses and injuries resulting in the loss of 27 million days and £13.8 billion in cost to society. 133 people were killed in the workplace in the period 2013 - 2014. These alarming statistics highlight the scale of accidents at work and the very real dangers which can result if proper safety measures are not put in place.
Who is at risk of accidents at work?
Accidents in the workplace can be caused by a vast array of issues, from faulty equipment to insufficient training. There are certain industries which are innately more risky such as construction and agriculture. However, the average office worker is also exposed to a wide variety of potential accidents, including slips and trips and manual handling injuries. No matter what kind of work you do or which sector you work in, it’s crucial that potential safety issues are assessed and tackled to prevent accidents.
Your employer is responsible for your safety
Your employer is legally responsible for health and safety management in your workplace. They have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees which means effectively controlling any risks which can cause accidents and injuries. They must assess all the risks in the working environment and ensure that full training is given to their staff on dealing with any identified hazards. Personal Protective Equipment must also be provided free of charge if necessary. Most injuries should be reported under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), including accidents which result in an employee being unable to perform their job for more than seven consecutive days. If your employer has not followed these rules and you’ve suffered an accident at work, it’s worth talking to a specialist accident solicitor to find out if you are able to claim any compensation.