With around six million people injured in the workplace in Britain every year, the most common industrial accidents exact a heavy toll. Accident Advice Helpline is ready to provide free, no-obligation advice on workplace accidents of all kinds, no matter how minor. There is health and safety legislation in place to protect people at work and it is important that employers do not get away with ignoring them. It is also essential to draw attention to the risks, so that all employees are safer at work.
Trips and falls
The most common industrial accidents of all are trips and falls, just as much a hazard in the workplace as they are elsewhere. Although some do not realise they count as industrial accidents, they are covered by the same legislation, because it is an employer’s responsibility to keep the workplace safe. This includes a responsibility to keep floors dry and uncluttered and to properly signpost hazards, as and when they occur.
Another major cause of accidents in the workplace is falling objects. Employers are responsible for properly securing objects that could fall on you. In occupations where this is not possible, you should be given proper training on how to deal with them, as well as the safety equipment, such as hard hats, that is available to reduce the risk of serious injury if you are struck. You should be similarly protected against the risk of walls or tunnels collapsing on you.
Overexertion and strain
When it comes to physically demanding jobs, the law says that employees should have proper breaks to make sure they don’t suffer from exhaustion. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for serious problems to happen simply because people are working too hard, especially in hot weather. This can cause medical emergencies such as heart attacks, or it can lead to loss of concentration, resulting in injury.
If you are employed doing a physically demanding job, you should receive adequate training on how to work safely; this includes simple tasks, such as being taught how to lift objects correctly. If no such training has been given or if it was inadequate, the employer may be liable for any strain injuries you sustain. This can also apply to repetitive strain caused by smaller muscle movements.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees from exposure to extremes of heat, hazardous chemicals, radiation, electric shocks and similar dangers. There are specific laws governing these areas and limits on what constitutes an acceptable level of risk. You should be properly trained on how to protect yourself when working in hazardous environments and protective equipment should be provided and properly maintained.
The fifth major cause of industrial accidents is poisoning; the ingestion or inhalation of hazardous substances. This can involve anything from a chef tasting food that has not been properly stored, to a construction worker inhaling asbestos dust. Some types of poisoning result in disease or slow deterioration, rather than immediate damage and in such situations the standard time limits on claiming compensation may not apply.
Whatever type of accident you have been involved in, the Accident Advice Helpline is here for you, so if you need someone to explain your options just give us a call.
Date Published: October 23, 2013
Author: David Brown