The common causes of workplace accidents revealed by the HSE’s data are slips, trips and falls, and manual handling injuries; all accidents that are potentially avoidable.
According to the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) most recent figures, more than 3 million working days were lost to workplace accident and injury in 2012/13, and cost the UK £13.8 billion in 2010/11.
In the past few years the number of injuries has shown very little change year on year, suggesting that awareness of accidents at work is poor, and simple health and safety guidelines are not doing their jobs.
Everyone benefits from having accident prevention measures in place; not only does best practise help ensure employee safety and wellbeing, it can help to avoid compensation claims being made against an employer.
Slips, trips & falls
Creating awareness of, and enforcing adherence to health and safety regulation could avoid many slips, trips and falls. Training and encouraging staff to take responsibility for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues is a priority, as is carrying out the appropriate risk assessments in areas where a dangerous fall or trip is a possibility.
The way workers went about manual lifting and handling was the most common causes of workplace accidents in 2012/13. Ironically, manual handling injury is preventable with frequent refresher training and by ensuring everyone sticks to the accepted safe lifting and manual handling techniques. The alternative is an employee running the risk of damaging their legs, shoulders, back – or even injuring a colleague because of poor training.
In the event of an injury
Employers have a duty of care to their staff and any time that fails it leaves them susceptible to an employee claiming compensation for an accident at work, which can be initiated with the help of a personal injury advisers.
What happens when an employee has ignored their training, and another employee has been injured as a result? The ultimate responsibility for maintaining a safe working environment falls on the employer: an inability to provide that, or ensure people are working in a manner that is safe can lead to action being taken against them.
Depending upon the accident and the severity of the injury, the amount of compensation an employer might need to pay could be incredibly high.
A victim’s personal injury adviser will handle the accident at work claim; if successful, 100% will go to the claimant and all fees are paid by the employer’s insurance company.