According to national statistics, a whopping 27 million (yes, that is 27, 000,000) working days between 2011 and 2012 were lost as a result of workplace injuries. Many of these injuries led to hospitalisation, and many were fatal.
Risks obviously vary between jobs, with most accidents at work occurring within the industries of transport, construction and agriculture. Slips, trips, manual handling and falls caused the vast majority of injuries. Identifying the most common work injury claims is important, as it can make you more aware of what to look out for.
Workplace slips and trips
Slips and trips are the most commonly reported causes of injuries at work resulting in compensation claims in the UK. More often than not, wet floors, trailing cables or poor quality flooring, inadequate hand rails or lighting, varying obstructions and adverse weather conditions are to blame for trips and slips at work. While taking a trip can be funny, in some cases, trips or slips can result in head, neck or back injuries, sprains, major fractures, broken bones and occasionally even death.
Falls at work
According to HSE statistics for 2011/12, almost 25 per cent of fatal employee injuries were caused by falls from heights. These statistics also revealed that most of these work accidents involved falling off ladders or falls from heights occurring from stairwells, machinery, and open edges or through fragile roofs. Work injury claims resulting from falls included sprains, eye injuries, cuts and bruises, lacerations, fractures, dislocations and broken bones and back, head and neck injuries.
Manual handling injuries at work
In 2011/12, seven million days worth of working hours were lost as a result of manual handling injuries. The majority of compensation claims made during this period involved musculoskeletal disorders that were caused by activities like lifting, pushing, pulling, lowering, restraining, holding and so on. Most recorded injuries affected sufferers’ backs and upper bodies. Strains and stresses to arms, hands, feet and tendons, as well as the heart and chest were also among workplace injury claims following falls.
Electrical work accidents
Every year approximately 1000 electrical injuries at work, some of them fatal, are reported. These incidents are frequently caused by power cables, faulty electrical equipment/ machinery and/ or inadequate training, equipment or precautions. Employers should take steps in identifying the most common work injury claims, in order to try and protect workers.
Other workplace injuries
Accident Advice Helpline also dealt with a range of other workplace injuries, including:
- Chemical, electrical and heat burns
- Cuts caused by metals, glass, knives, saws and various moving parts
- Exposure to fumes, gases or chemicals causing skin/ eye reactions, serious illnesses/ diseases like asbestos disease, cancers, dermatitis, asthma and other skin/ respiratory disorders
- Hearing loss
- Injuries caused by falling objects
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Vibration-related diseases
- Work-related anxiety, depression or stress
If you have had an accident at work within the last three years, you can call Accident Advice Helpline for free and confidential advice on whether you are eligible to make a claim for compensation. Identifying the most common work injury claims is the first step to ensuring you stay as risk free as possible.