The work environment should be a place that is safe, but many individuals work in environments where hazards are commonplace. Workplaces such as construction sites and factories are recognised as potentially hazardous, of course, but no workplace is completely safe. Accidents can happen anywhere though, and this article will take a look at what the most common injury at work claim is.
An employer has a duty of care to his or her employees and should ensure that all employees receive health and safety training and that each employee has the appropriate tools to carry out their job in a manner that is safe. If this is not the case and an employee suffers an injury as a result of the employer’s failures, they are entitled to make a claim against their employer for compensation.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that in 2011/12 1.1 million people were suffering from a work-related illnes, 173 people died as a result of an accident at their workplace, and 27 million days were lost as a result of workplace injuries or illnesses. Workplace ill health or injuries were estimated to have cost the UK £13.4 billion in 2010/11.
The most common types of workplace injuries are those that occur as a result of the body being over exerted. The second most common are those that are the result of a slip or trip. Injuries caused by tripping or slipping resulted in the loss of an estimated two million working days in 2011/12. Over the years, the number of workplace accident claims has been rising as more individuals become aware that their suffering is a result of their employment, or their employer’s lack of care, and that this is not their fault.
The most common type of injury in the workplace depends upon the type of environment. Factory accidents are frequently caused by a lack of training, failure to ensure that employees are wearing the right protective clothing, and by the operation of equipment that is either faulty or unguarded. Injuries can occur as a result of lifting objects that are too heavy, or when requested to carry out tasks that are not a normal part of their job. Back injuries are a common cause of workplace injury claims.
Construction sites are particularly hazardous and many construction workers are admitted to hospital each year as a result of injuries that they suffer at work. Due to the hazardous nature of the work a number of workplace fatalities also occur each year on building sites. Falls from a height are the most common cause of fatalities. Other fatalities are caused by being hit by collapsing structures, or being struck by a moving vehicle or object.
An office might seem a safe working environment, but employees often suffer accidents as a result of slipping or tripping when floors are moist after cleaning, or obstacles have been left blocking pathways. Trips or slips can result in broken bones, head and neck injuries, sprains or simply bruising. Wiring and cabling are a common trip hazard in offices, and repetitive strain injuries can occur when individuals sit working at screens for hours on end.
Armed forces personnel often suffer injuries during Ministry of Defence training.
Accident Advice Helpline has helped thousands of people with work-related injuries or illnesses, so if you want friendly advice or help then contact one of our advisers.
Date Published: October 2, 2013
Author: David Brown