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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    How soon should I return to my shop job after localised flooding?


    In an ideal world, employees should not have to return to a shop job after flooding until the aftermath of the flood has been completely cleared up by a team of professionals. Unfortunately, life is rarely perfect, and workers may well be asked to go and help with the cleaning effort. In this case, it is important for employers to ensure their workers are safe.

    Accidents at work

    One of the first priorities after a flood is to ensure electricity remains switched off at the mains until everything has been sufficiently dried and that wiring, appliances, etc that have come into contact with water have been checked thoroughly by qualified electricians. Failure to do this could result in workers being electrocuted at work.

    Injuries at work

    To prevent employees being injured at work or becoming ill through contact with contaminated floodwater (sewage, animal waste, chemicals), it is equally important for employers to provide adequate personal protective gear, including:

    • Waterproof jackets and trousers.
    • Rubber gloves.
    • Face masks.

    Disinfectant must be made available for the purpose of washing hands after touching surfaces or equipment that has been touched by flood water, and employers need to make sure any cuts, grazes, and so on they may have on their hands are covered with waterproof plasters.

    Drying the property

    Once all the water, mud, etc have been removed and surfaces have been cleaned, the property must be allowed to dry out completely. This can be speeded up through the use of fans; temperatures of between 20 and 22 degrees centigrade (heating appliances and systems must obviously be checked by qualified engineers first) and open windows, or dehumidifiers.

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    Returning to business as usual

    Depending on the type of building and the flood’s severity, this may take anything from a few weeks to several months. Ideally, the shop should remain closed during this period. Financial consideration may, however, mean this will not be possible.

    Work injury compensation

    If you were electrocuted at work, slipped in flood water or became ill after exposure to contaminated flood water, you may be entitled to industrial injury compensation. A free phone call to Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or filling in the compensation calculator on this law firm’s website will clarify whether you are eligible to claim.

    No win no fee

    Calls are confidential and obligation free, and claims are conducted by highly skilled, experienced in-house solicitors on a no win no fee basis.

    Date Published: May 1, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.