The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK have recently released the workplace health and safety statistics to workplace accidents and injuries for 2013-2014. A quick glance at the headline figures paints a startling picture. Despite a great many health and safety laws and requirements being introduced over the last ten years or so; the UK is suffering an epidemic of workplace injuries and illness.
The HSE report the key figures for Great Britain (2013/14)
- 1.2 million working people suffered from a work-related illness
- 2,538 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
- 142 workers killed at work (2014/15)
- 78,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
- 629,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey
- 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13)
Under RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, workplaces are required to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses). Reportable injuries include –
- fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
- any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
- any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
- serious burns (including scalding) which cover more than 10% of the body or causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- any scalping requiring hospital treatment
- any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
- any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space that leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
With 78,000 of these kinds of injuries reported in just one year, the UK clearly needs to do more to protect its workforce. While some accidents are beyond the control of an employer – such as a flood or wind damage, other accidents can be foreseen and measures put in place to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. A thorough risk assessment that is properly acted upon is just the start. Offering staff training, not only in how to use the equipment they are using during their working day but also in fire prevention, first aid and health and safety. Giving staff appropriate protective footwear and clothing, as well as ear defenders, goggles, masks or hats will help protect them further.
If you have been injured at work and you think that your employer was at fault, then you may be able to claim accident at work compensation. Compensation cannot heal your injuries, but it can help to make up for the pain and inconvenience of your injuries, as well as cover any expenses or loss of earnings you may have had as a result of the accident. Your employer has a legal responsibility to ensure your health and safety, failure to do so can prove devastating.
To speak with your local Personal Injury Lawyer in the Cheshire, Manchester and Stockport area, please call GO-Law on 01625 523838 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org