The modern workplace is a much safer environment than at any time in the past, although there are still many jobs which are dangerous by definition.

Workplaces are full of dangers that can lead to accidents.

Workplaces are full of dangers that can lead to accidents.

These types of professions require particular care and attention in their day to day duties using certain processes, practices and equipment but even in the most hazardous roles the well-being of workers is now enshrined in law.

For most people who work in offices, the retail industry or even light industry such as warehouses and factories, the occurrence of accidents which lead to injuries is far less than it ever has been before.

Much of this can be put down to health and safety regulations, which although often maligned, are more frequently misunderstood. It is every employer’s legal duty to ensure that regulations are adhered to in the working environment and that practices present the minimum risk to all concerned.

Of course accidents do still happen even in the most controlled situations and if they result in personal injury or illness there may be a basis for a claim that could lead to financial compensation if an employer is seen to be negligent or otherwise responsible.

Statistics

According to the most recent figures available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), during the period 2011-2012 there were 1.1 million working people suffering from a work-related illness in the UK.

There were 172 fatalities in the workplace and a further 111,000 injuries (including anything from broken bones to minor issues which prevent people from working for a three day period or longer) reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

The types of injuries and the situations which cause them are wide and varied as they can affect any role in whatever location people may be engaged in work.

However, there are a few major potential hazards that account for a large number of accidents that result in injury or worse.

Physical Accidents

The law requires an employer to provide adequate protection for a worker.

The law requires an employer to provide adequate protection for a worker.

Many circumstances which result in a workplace accident claim come about through straightforward physical injuries caused across a wide range of activities. Obviously any job that mainly involves manual labour has potential problems which can result from simple tasks such as having to move or carry heavy objects and materials.

In certain more specialised occupations, using cutting machinery or other kinds of power tools can also present real hazards that need to be constantly recognised and addressed.

Using the correct health and safety procedures and the right kind of equipment is essential both to stay within the law and to ensure workers are protected and kept away from unnecessary dangers.

Most office, clerical, retail and other more sedentary jobs usually include little or no lifting, moving or carrying of heavy objects but these types of activities still result in over a third of all work related accidents across all types of employment.

Electrical Accidents

The modern workplace will rely heavily on electrical equipment in all walks of life. Of course the mains supply is essential to the running of all types of machinery ranging from heavy industrial plants right through to everyday desk top computers or cash tills.

We take electrical power for granted which makes it all the more easy to ignore the dangers of electric shocks, which can be fatal in a worst case scenario, and even minor discharges can cause serious burns.

Old or exposed wiring is a sure sign of a hazard but even contemporary workspaces can have dangerous cabling linking appliances to the power supply.

Chemical Accidents

Having the correct personal protective equipment can reduce the risk of accidents.

Having the correct personal protective equipment can reduce the risk of accidents.

Coming into contact with dangerous substances in a daily working routine isn’t something most people think about, but almost everybody does handle chemicals at some point whether it might be inks, dyes, paints or simply strong cleaning materials or other similar substances.

Working with any kind of potentially dangerous substances means that all relevant safety measures must be taken seriously and often accidents can happen when correct practice is not enforced.

Claims

Any accident in the workplace should be taken seriously by all involved. Employers should have a process for dealing with the immediate effects and then have an investigative procedure in place that should be followed.

If at the end of this process an injured party feels that they have been treated unfairly or may have become a victim through the fault of the employer, there may be a basis for a successful compensation claim.

The first step is to then contact a specialist firm who is used to dealing with this area of law such as Lampkin & Co. After making an assessment as to whether or not your claim could be valid and has arisen from negligence on the employer’s part or been caused by a third party, a case will often be continued on a no win no fee basis. This means that in the event of an unsuccessful claim you will not be personally liable for any cost relating to your legal representation.