Factories have the potential to be hazardous places, whether you work at a food manufacturing factory or an electronics factory. Unfortunately factory accidents can often lead to serious injuries, which may mean taking time off work or even being unable to return to your job. Factories nowadays rely on high-tech equipment and automated systems to ensure faster production times, but unfortunately this machinery and equipment can malfunction and when it does the consequences can be serious.
That’s why health and safety is of the utmost importance in factories, and if your employer breaches health and safety regulations then you could be at risk of being injured in an accident. These regulations are in place to protect employees and reduce the risk of factory accidents, but that doesn’t mean that accidents don’t still happen.
Are you at risk of injury?
According to statistics from the HSE, 27 people were fatally injured in factory accidents in 2015/16, with 66,000 non-fatal workplace injuries also reported. These figures may seem high, but this is only accounting for self-reported injuries – the actual total is far higher. If somebody you love has been killed in an accident at a factory then you could make a claim for personal injury compensation on their behalf, whilst if you yourself have been injured and required medical attention, you could find you are eligible to make a 100% no-win, no-fee* claim for compensation with Accident Advice Helpline.
So are factories dangerous places? Well, it depends. When you consider that manufacturing workers account for one in every five fatal workplace accidents, it’s easy to see that this is a dangerous industry to work in, compared to say, retail. Factories today rely on heavy machinery, equipment and vehicles to improve production speeds – did you know that forklifts and other forms of workplace transport accounted for over 25% of fatal injuries to workers in 2010/11?
The most common types of factory accidents are slips, trips and falls, lifting and handling accidents, accidents caused by machinery and accidents caused by hazardous substances. The type of accident you’re injured in will largely depend on what type of factory you work in. In fact, slips, trips and falls were the most common cause of injuries to employees in 2013/14, responsible for 57% of all reported major injuries.
How were you injured?
You may have sustained minor injuries in a factory accident or been more seriously hurt, and in both cases you could make a personal injury claim if your employer was at fault. Factory floors can be dangerous places and spillages of chemicals or other liquids could lead to a slip which could cause injuries ranging from broken bones to a back injury.
Manual handling accidents are also not uncommon in factories, as you could find yourself frequently lifting heavy or awkward loads. It’s up to your employer to ensure that you receive manual handling training, and they should also try to minimise the need for heavy lifting wherever possible. You could suffer a back, neck or shoulder injury whilst lifting or be hit by objects falling from height from conveyor belts or vehicles, leading to serious spinal injuries and even permanent disability.
Working in a factory also puts you at risk of being injured by equipment or machinery. The machines used are often automated, with moving parts, and if you trap your hand or arm in them you could sustain serious crush injuries. It’s your employer’s responsibility to prevent factory accidents by ensuring machinery is well maintained, and if they haven’t done so, then we could help you claim personal injury compensation. Finally, hazardous substances could be a risk if you are working in a factory. Chemical spillages could cause fires or explosions, breathing problems or skin conditions such as dermatitis, and it is important that hazardous chemicals are properly labelled and handled, with PPE provided for anybody coming into contact with them.
How much compensation could you get for factory accidents?
When you consider that workplace injury and illness cost the UK’s economy £14.1 billion a year in 2014/15, it’s easy to see the importance of health and safety when it comes to preventing factory accidents. If the worst has already happened and you have been injured, your employer could be held liable for your injuries and ordered to pay you compensation. Their liability insurance will normally pay out in the event of a successful claim, although the amount you could receive will depend on various factors including the severity of your injuries, any loss of earnings you have suffered and how your injuries have affected your life.
You could be entitled to receive compensation for loss of earnings if you have taken time off work for medical treatment or to recover after a factory accident, which can help your family out financially at a difficult time. The easiest way to find out how much you could claim is to use an online calculator, and you’ll find Accident Advice Helpline’s 30-second test on our website will give you an idea of what you could be entitled to.
Who’s to blame for factory accidents?
At the end of the day employers take responsibility for the safety of their staff whilst they are at work, so if factory accidents have happened and left staff injured, the employer could be held liable. Even if you have suffered minor injuries you could still be entitled to claim compensation. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience helping workers to claim the compensation they are entitled to, and we’re happy to share our expert knowledge and advice with you on a no-obligation basis when you get in touch with us. Why not call our freephone helpline today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to see if you have a viable claim? Our lawyers provide a 100% no-win, no-fee* service and it is unlikely that you will have to go to court, as most claims can be settled over the phone.