Working in a factory or warehouse with work machinery can be a dangerous job. Whilst it’s true that machinery speeds up our jobs and makes things easier, it can also cause serious injuries when things go wrong. It’s up to employers to ensure that staff receive the training they need to use machinery safely and without risk, but also to ensure that machinery is well maintained and safe to use. Should employers fail to meet their responsibilities, an employee could claim compensation if they are injured by faulty work machinery.
Common work machinery accidents
In 2015/16, there were 144 fatal injuries sustained at workplaces across the UK – contact with moving machinery was responsible for nine fatalities, whilst being struck by a moving vehicle accounted for 27 fatalities. But what are some of the most common work machinery accidents? It really depends what type of industry you are working in and the type of machinery you are coming into contact with. Over more than the last 16 years, Accident Advice Helpline has helped hundreds of workers to claim compensation after being injured by work machinery, and here are some of the most common machinery accidents we have handled claims for:
- Contact accidents – If your employer fails to provide you with PPE then you could come into contact with sharp edges, live electrical equipment or hot machinery parts, suffering serious injuries
- Impact accidents – You could be hit by moving equipment, for example a forklift – in fact in 2004/05, there were 5,427 reported workplace transport injuries (and 68 fatalities)
- Entrapment accidents – Catching your fingers in the moving parts of machinery can lead to life-changing injuries. These sorts of accidents can also be caused by catching long hair, jewellery or clothing (such as a scarf) in machinery
- Ejector accidents – Parts or objects could fly from faulty machinery and hit you
All these types of accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries, and provided you have sought medical attention after your accident, you could make a personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline. According to statistics from RoSPA, the waste and recycling industry has one of the highest rates of fatal injuries from accidents at work, which could be due to the amount of complex machinery used on a daily basis. However, you could be injured working in almost any industry if you are coming into contact with machinery.
What are some common work machinery injuries?
There are a variety of different work machinery injuries which could be sustained, ranging from minor injuries, for which you may need to take a day or two off work, to life-changing injuries resulting in permanent disability. Since 2000, we have helped workers to claim compensation for a range of injuries – here are some of the most common:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head injuries, eye injuries and bruising from flying parts or objects
- Scalds or burns from lack of PPE or contact with faulty equipment
- Damaged nerves/tendons, broken bones or even loss of limbs from crushing and impact accidents or entrapment
- Electric shock injuries from touching faulty equipment or live electrics – in 2010 there were six fatal work related electrocutions and around 350,000 people are seriously injured by electric shocks every year
Obviously some of these injuries are far more serious than others, but your priority after your accident should always be to ensure that you get the medical attention you require and that you report your accident to your employer, so that they can record it in their accident book.
How can you reduce the risk of work machinery injuries?
It is your employer’s responsibility to take steps to keep you as safe as possible at work, which includes reducing the risk of accidents. This means they need to ensure that they maintain work machinery to a safe standard and provide you with the training you need. But you also take some responsibility for your own safety, and the following tips can help to reduce your risk of being injured in an accident involving machinery at work:
- Carry out checks before using machinery and ensure that appropriate safeguards are fitted
- Always report any concerns or faults to your employer immediately
- Ensure machinery is properly switched off, locked-off or isolated before cleaning or removing blockages
- Ensure you know where the emergency stop controls are located
- Wear appropriate PPE such as safety shoes, glasses and hearing protection
- Avoid wearing long hair down, dangling jewellery or loose clothing
The introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 may have reduced the number of work machinery accidents, but between 2006 and 2007, 3,269 workers sustained over-three-day injuries caused by moving machine parts.
Should you claim compensation after a machinery accident at work?
The decision whether or not to make a claim for personal injury compensation is a personal one, but if you have been injured at work due to a machinery accident, and you feel your employer was to blame, you really should claim the compensation you are entitled to. Whether you have suffered a serious, life-changing injury such as the loss of several fingers, or a more minor injury such as a facial laceration, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of earnings. Machinery accidents can often be avoided if proper care is taken to follow health and safety regulations, and you shouldn’t have to suffer physically, emotionally and financially as a result of somebody else’s negligence.
How much compensation will you receive?
Accident Advice Helpline takes a number of different things into consideration when calculating your personal injury settlement, and we consider each claim on an individual basis. We have been endorsed by our patron, TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen, and with over 16 years’ experience helping workers claim personal injury compensation, you know that your claim will have the very best chances of success. So whilst we can’t tell you exactly how much compensation you could receive until we know a little more about the circumstances of your accident, you could get an idea of what you could be entitled to by taking the 30-second test on our website right now.
Then it’s simply a case of calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to get advice from our expert advisors. All advice is offered in confidence and there’s no obligation to proceed with a claim at any point. You’ll also be pleased to hear that there are no upfront fees to pay as our lawyers work on a 100% no-win, no-fee* basis.
Date Published: December 15, 2013
Author: David Brown