Health and safety – this is a phrase everyone is surely familiar with. Since the inception of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the environments we all work in have become far safer than they used to be. Many employers not only meet their obligations in this area, they regularly exceed them, making sure all their employees are always safe and can work in a pleasant environment that will not cause them any harm. Therefore, few people suffer the consequences of poor health and safety.
However, it would be a mistake to assume health and safety only ever applied at work. For example, you probably go shopping quite often. When you do, you have a right to expect the conditions in the shops you visit to be safe and to present no potential danger to you. The same applies to children going to learn in schools each day; to people exercising at their local gym; and to people using any other public place, whether this is indoors or outdoors. The consequences of poor health and safety could apply anywhere.
Whoever is responsible for the public area, business, or service you enjoy, should consider the potential risks and hazards to people using those services. Fortunately, most people do everything they can to keep areas safe and enjoyable to use. There is a lot of information out there for people to take advantage of, too. For instance, play areas are just one example of an area focused on by RoSPA – the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Suffering an accident because of the consequences of poor health and safety
Everyone knows accidents happen. Often, no one is at fault. Things can happen and people can end up being injured. Sometimes, people are injured because they weren’t paying proper attention to where they were or what they were doing.
However, other people are hurt even when they did nothing wrong. Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common accidents to happen, both in the workplace and elsewhere. A Labour Force Survey (quoted in a report by the Health and Safety Executive) revealed there were around 119,000 cases of people who slipped, tripped, or fell at work from 2013/14 to 2015/16. As we can see, this only includes accidents that happen in the workplace. Many more will occur in other places, too.
The consequences of poor health and safety can lead to injuries that are at best inconvenient, and at worst, painful and potentially life-changing, too. Your life can change in an instant, perhaps because of a broken bone, or a head injury, or a back injury. While many accidents only incur mild injuries, they are still inconvenient and you may end up altering the way you live your life until the injuries have healed.
Keep your wits about you
If you are hurt in any location or situation, think about what happened and how it happened. If it was while you were using a business premises, i.e. a gym, a library, a shop, or something similar, think about whether they had exhibited good health and safety. Do you think there is a chance those in charge may have been neglectful of their responsibilities and the consequences of poor health and safety?
It isn’t always easy to tell whether this is the case, but gathering all the evidence you can could be useful. Take photos of a trip hazard if this caused you to fall, as it proves one was there. Take photos of your injuries, too, as these will help provide medical evidence. If there are witnesses to what happened, get their details, especially since they may be able to help you claim compensation later.
Every business and service must perform risk assessments to ensure the premises and services are safe. It’s reasonable to say it is virtually impossible to remove all risk; however, everything that can be done should be done to ensure no one is put at risk. There are ways to vastly reduce the consequences of poor health and safety.
How bad must your injuries be to make a claim?
The severity of your injuries is not the most important aspect of a claims process. The most important thing to remember is to consider whether someone else was at fault. Was a council negligent in not repairing a road surface you tripped on, leading to a broken ankle? Was the owner of a hairdressers negligent for causing you injury by using a faulty hairdryer, or leaving the floor wet so you slipped over? Was the owner of a gym negligent in allowing you to use faulty equipment?
As you can see, there is a lot to think about regarding the consequences of poor health and safety. Some people suffer mild injuries, such as cuts and grazes sustained in a fall. Other people suffer more serious injuries, such as a broken arm. The most important thing is to determine whether a third party was negligent by not meeting the health and safety requirements expected of them.
Can we help you find out more?
No one starts their day expecting to be injured by the end of it. This is what makes injuries harder to deal with.
If you want to know whether your injuries were caused through negligence and through the consequences of poor health and safety, we may be able to help. If you give our team of advisors a ring, you can speak to someone who is friendly, easy to talk to, and knowledgeable about situations just like yours. It’s easier to do than you’d think, as you can get in contact with Accident Advice Helpline now on 0800 689 0500, or on 0333 500 0993 if you are ringing us from your mobile. Getting no-obligation advice is easy when you know how, and when you have the information you need, you can see if one of our lawyers could begin a no-win, no-fee* claim on your behalf. Find your answers today.