How UNISON is helping injured workers

The fight against employer negligence has always been associated with specialist solicitors and a ‘no win, no fee’ approach. But the UK’s largest public sector union UNISON has been quietly working throughout 2009 alongside specialist solicitors to ensure that members receive the compensation they deserve.

UNISON Fighting On

In 2009, UNISON managed to ensure that members injured at work received nearly ££29million in compensation for personal injuries. The compensation amount represents 3728 legal cases for injuries and although road traffic accidents topped the list of injury causes, slips and falls, assaults and back injuries were also amongst the most common forms of injury at work.

The union represents workers in many different areas including nursing, social work, care work, teaching and even dinner ladies – areas that are not normally associated with dangerous working conditions. But statistics released by the union show that even in what would normally be considered ‘safe’ environments, employees can still be left injured, sometimes severely.

Sadly, many of these accidents are entirely preventable. Mention health and safety legislation in regards to a library, for example, and it is often taken less than seriously. But even here, in what would normally be considered a ‘risk free’ environment, a relaxed attitude to basic health and safety legislation can and does lead to injuries.

The Figures Say It All

UNISON says that the figure of £28,787,913 represents a huge amount of personal suffering and pain, and behind every compensation claim is a story of real personal injury. From a paramedic who has been forced to retire due to a back injury as a result of carrying heavy equipment, to a bin man who seriously injured his shoulder after tripping over a paving stone, each case has one thing in common. Inadequate training and the employer’s failure in their duty of care resulted in devastating and sometimes fatal injuries that can have an impact for years after the event. It is this that the union, in conjunction with specialist solicitors fighting on their behalf, is determined to highlight.

Knowing that you have the support not just of a specialist solicitor but of your union as well can help those facing the rigours of a compensation claim with more confidence. UNISON has called on employers to work with them to ensure that 2010 is a safe and injury-free year for its members and other workers facing the same situations every day.

The union is supported in its efforts by specialist solicitors and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), all of whom are determined to make 2010 the year when employers realise that a lackadaisical approach to health and safety is detrimental to everyone. The HSE has already made it clear that they will enforce health and safety legislation to the letter, and by making significant changes to the way it enforces certain legislation, the claim that “I didn’t realise that was the law” is no longer any form of defence. £28million is one figure the union hopes will actually go down in 2010. If it does, then it means that employers are finally hearing the message, and that they are taking their responsibilities to provide a safe working environment for their employees seriously. Only then will we see a reduction in the number of preventable injuries suffered by the UK’s workforce every year.

Workplace slip injury compensation claim experts

It is only right that your health and wellbeing is protected in the workplace. If this is not done and it results in you becoming injured, you should enquire about making a compensation claim.

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